If you have been around Christianity for any length of time, you probably know someone who has gone through some tough times or you may have experienced them yourself. Life has a funny way at chipping away our joy and contentment as Christians.
During times of struggle, faith can erode to the place where a person finds they are no longer standing on a rock. As water rushes around their feet, to their horror they realize they are standing on sand. but end up getting washed downstream.
People “drop out” of a life of following Christ because of lack of spiritual and mental fortitude. Quite honestly, I think a lot of people never knew they needed it.
It’s like a page was missing from the manual they read or they maybe they missed that class in school. So as the drag of discomfort sets in, their spirit and mind because they have had enough.
Why? Because life is harder than we want. Life brings us unexpected adversity or pain and we get discouraged or, at times, even mad about it.
There is something in that deserves some thought. Why do we resent unplanned struggle so much? The heart of the matter is that we like to be in control and want to retain the ability to choose struggles that suit us.
We don’t mind adversity if we can sign up for it. We can train and complete some physical challenge of our choosing, then get a medal of completion at the end. Some people decide to push themselves intellectually, then stand in a line to receive a degree that acknowledges their efforts.
These things are good and are to be celebrated. It does opens the question ourselves to a question:
“How durable are we when we get to choose the circumstances we have to over-come?”
When it is up to us, we have a funny way about choosing adversity in areas that we have some level of basic talent to work from. Success isn’t guaranteed, but it is within the realm of possibility.
So what is our response when life brings a challenge which we never saw coming, we have no built in ability to draw from, and have no obvious win in sight?
What happens then when life bring a person adversity that we may never get a medal? You are never going to get sense of closure that comes with the of completion a challenge but you have to face it anyways?
Now that’s a lot of questions. This is what looking into spiritual durability addresses and hopefully provides some clarity. The ability to be resilient in following Christ, no matter the circumstances.
More on that next time…