Stay

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In common culture there remains an unfortunate idea: when things become difficult you are no longer obligated to stay. Go, if you please, to another place where peace and prosperity await you and life no longer boggles you down with troubles. The problem (among many) with this principle is that when things turn sour we need to stand our ground if we ever plan to accomplish much of anything. Take for instance divorce or sickness, bankruptcy or joblessness. It may seem like the easier option to flee but doesn’t say much for our character if we do.

In relation to the Christian life each believer will at some point come to the conclusion…life is hard. While I know this may seem obvious to some, to others maybe not. Many assume entering in to a life of fellowship with God will eradicate one’s life of troubles, pain and heartache, but this is not the case. The Bible reverberates of stories in which men and women of God undergo trials of many kinds for differing purposes: sin, testing of faith, refinement/endurance. While the target of such trials is the ultimate glory of God, the unveiling of the human heart and genuine fellowship, the end goal does not make the trials themselves any less difficult.

My hope in writing this is to convey to you: don’t lose heart, don’t let go, and don’t stop moving forward. Sometimes progress seems so small we can’t find a measurement fit to view it, but it is imminent. God’s purposes will be fulfilled and you will come out the other end if you stay planted.

I have found much solace in this particular passage from time to time:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. -James 1:2-4

If you are undergoing trials you are in good company…with me, with our forefathers of faith and with Jesus Himself. All suffering will end, if not now then upon the return of our Lord Jesus. But it will end. In the mean time ‘Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.’

There will come a point when all tears, all questions and all doubts add up to nothing. All that matters is you made it out of the shadow of darkness and into LIGHT. This hope has kept me enduring even through the most volatile of circumstances. Because at the end of the day I can proclaim that my God is good and “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71)

Lord God give us the strength to endure each leg of trial which comes our way. For whatever purpose you have allowed these afflictions in our lives we agree they will produce for us deeper faith and greater obedience, all of which are your ultimate good for us. In the mean time, help us to become people of character, people of endurance and people who stand their ground in the storms of life. Teach us how to stay.

“Stay” Big Daddy Weave

via YouTube

I’ve seen the flash of lightning

I’ve heard the rolling thunder

I’ve felt the crashing of the waves

And though I’ve known Your Presence

and been filled with wonder

Still there are many things that pull me away

Don’t let me go, hold me close because

I don’t want to hurt You anymore

I don’t want to waste another day

‘Cause it breaks Your heart, it breaks Your heart

When I keep walking away

You know what it means to sacrifice

But You tell me that it’s better to obey

You’ve giving me a thousand brand new starts

Jesus, give me what it takes to stay

I’ve felt Your hand of mercy through my darkest failures

And on the other side You’ve covered me with grace

And like a child lost and afraid, You come and find this runaway

And in Your loving arms You bring me home again

But what’s it gonna take to make me stay

I don’t want to hurt You anymore

I don’t want to waste another day

‘Cause it breaks Your heart, it breaks Your heart

When I keep walking away

You know what it means to sacrifice

But You tell me that it’s better to obey

You’ve giving me a thousand brand new starts

Jesus, give me what it takes to stay

Break my heart with what breaks Yours

Until You’re all I’m living for

Show me what it means not just to believe but to remain

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