Mark Affleck

What Do YOU Do When Life’s HARD KNOCKS Start Knocking?

December 7, 2020
Spiritual Growth

This just in from our global online tribe: “I cannot figure out how to follow Jesus and it’s really frustrating. Please help me.”
I love this question for two reasons: It’s difficult to answer; and 2) Getting it answered is fundamental to a believer’s faith walk. So let’s tackle it head on.
All believers—at one time or another and to some degree or another—search for an IDEALIZED GUIDE on how to follow Jesus. But finding such a guide—a snap-your-fingers solution for following Jesus–is elusive because it’s an illusion.
It is a Satan-created temptation from the darkness that he slips in the middle of a truth like a corrupted car dealer slips an expensive warranty into the deal without telling you.
These lies come in the middle of a truth sandwich that often makes them sound plausible; sometimes reasonable; and even a few times iron clad.
The Enemy’s purpose is two-fold: 1) To TEMPT us (of course); and 2) To create DOUBT.
We need to stop looking for guides and shortcut expressways to spiritual maturity and following Jesus. We need to realize that growing in Christ takes discipline. We need to accept that life is hard, and so is following Jesus.
Following Christ is not a walk in the park. It is painful. It is a sacrifice. It is giving up our way for his way.
Life is hard because the world is broken. But God uses the hard knocks of life to: 1) Make us more like him; and 2) Make our faith stronger.
Life on earth may be hard, and following Jesus may be even more difficult, but there is ALWAYS HOPE. And to remind us of his hope, God tells us to FEAR NOT 365 times in the Bible.
God’s wants us to FULLY follow him. A PARTIAL follow leaves our heart behind and falls away when life’s hard knocks start knocking.
We get our FOLLOWER CREDENTIALS immediately at salvation, but then develop them over a lifetime. Are you ready for life’s hard knocks when they knock at your door in 2021?
I ask God to remind me continually that even though FOLLOWING HIM is HARD; it IS possible, and he WILL be with me through ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that might try to knock me down.
What do YOU do when life’s hard knocks start knocking?
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8–10
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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