I’m reading a fiction book titled “Candle in the Darkness” by Lynn Austin for my book club. I am not much of a fiction reader because I’m pretty picky about what I read, but this book is amazing. I love fiction books that can provide you with a great story but also encourage you in your walk.
This book is based in Virginia during the start of the Civil War. As the war begins you find all the men in Richmond Virginia signing up to serve in the war, leaving their families and loved ones behind. They are willing to risk everything for something they strongly believe in.
It always inspires me when someone is willing to stand up and risk everything in order to defend something they love and truly believe in. Often I feel we are encouraged because we feel it’s right in our heart, and it’s for a cause we truly believe in. Our motivation is there and our heart is fully committed.
In the beginning of our journey to surrender all for what we believe in, we are almost lost in the beauty of what that may look like without ever really understanding the sacrifice that is before us.
I think that’s what it’s like in our Christian walk. We stand up and are ready to die for the name of Jesus and all He stood for. Jesus said that if we are to follow Him then we are to take up our cross. Too often I think we have no idea how messy and hard it is going to be to take up our cross every single day.
As high of a calling it was for Jesus to become the savior of the world, He also had to endure the mess and the pain of the cross. In this world there is nothing luxurious or easy about being a follower of Christ.
We may enter the battle with our armor nicely polished and ready to go without ever really thinking about the bloody mess that we will have to endure. The battle we are in is not fiction, but very real.
There are going to be days where it’s JUST TOO HARD. It will be uncomfortable, and just plain unfair. But my heart for you is that it will just turn your face to The Lord. I pray you will find refuge in Jesus, instead of running from Him.
Even though this walk may be full of hardships, disappointments, and unfairness, it will most definitely be filled with attacks from the enemy and us wrestling with our flesh. Even though it may never be easy, and you may be having a very difficult time finding a place of refuge in the midst of the battle, it would be so much harder to turn your back on Jesus and the values you are fighting for.
The battle is real, and you know what? It’s messy and it’s hard. But we can always find refuge in Jesus, and we have the power to rest in Him..
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No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.