Why are Good Things so Hard?2
Have you ever noticed that the things that are good for us are hard? They take work. Take school, for example, you can slide through school by just doing the bare minimum. You can get passing grades and graduate without really mastering any material. However, if you really want to learn the material it is going to take more work. You need to read the books, complete the exercises, and do the projects. When you finish this, you have to do it all over again. Repetition and experience lead to learning.
How about relationships? In order for a relationship to be successful, two people must work hard. There must be a willingness to compromise during conflicts, to apologize when a mistake has been made, to forgive when you’ve been wronged, and to love not only in the good times but also in the bad times. Relationships are easy when life is good and things are going smoothly. When money is readily available, physical appearances are attractive, jobs are fulfilling, and times are fun, it is easy to love each other. But, when money is tight, bodies are worn out, jobs become frustrating, and there hasn’t been a laugh in days, that’s where you must really work to love each other.
Another activity that falls into the category of “good for you but hard to do” is exercise. Obesity is on the rise in America. We are faced with a buffet of unhealthy food choices and more and more things to distract us and keep us sedentary. Staying healthy takes hard work. You have to choose the right foods to eat while avoiding the unhealthy ones. You have to dedicate the time to exercising. This means getting rid of excuses about time, ability, or pain.
What does any of this have to do with anything and why write about such obvious things? The same goes with our faith. Feeding and strengthening our faith takes work. Have you ever read the whole Bible? This is another thing that takes hard work. There are parts that are exciting and easy to read and there are other parts that don’t make much sense or are tedious to read. It takes hard work to focus and make it through these parts. Sometimes we don’t do it because it takes time and we’re busier doing other things. Other times we start out strong, but lose momentum along the way.
Being in God’s word, reading it, studying it, learning it, committing it to heart helps our faith to grow and be stronger. It helps us trust God in the midst of challenges and problems. It helps us have hope in the midst of pain and it gives us joy to face each day. It does this by telling us about God’s work and about his promises. It tells us about how he’s kept all of his promises. It tells us about our condition and why bad things happen in the world. But we also hear that God loved us so much that he sent his Son into the world to die on the cross and rise from the dead to forgive our sins, rescue us from death, and destroy the power of the Devil. The Holy Spirit uses this word to create and strengthen our faith.
I know that if you spend even ten minutes a day in God’s Word you will find it to be just as worthwhile as working hard to learn new things in school, to maintain and strengthen our relationships and to keep out bodies in shape. You’ll find that this “workout” for your faith will strengthen it and give you an even greater understanding of God your Father. I pray that God blesses you as you dive further into his Word.