I wish I could say life as a Christian was always full of roses, daisies and laughter. I wish I could say I never encounter obstacles or challenges. But the truth is life is full of them. Actually I would make the argument that following Jesus almost always comes with an increase of trials. Jesus did not promise we would not be tested. He did not promise we would not face trials. He did not promise we would not suffer. He did not promise that this life would be easy. Actually he warns us that all these things would happen. He himself endured them.
If I think of trials as balls being thrown at me, life is kind of like a game of dodge ball. I have to say my life very much feels like a game of dodge ball at times. I may not be able to avoid this dodge ball game but Jesus has promised me eternity with him where there is no more dodge ball. But until that time he has asked that I stay faithful to him, abide in him, seek first his kingdom and endure whatever is thrown my way. Similar he makes the promise that no ball thrown my way will be more than I can handle without providing me a way of escaping. There have been many times my game of dodge ball became a little to intense for me to handle. In those instances Jesus has always been faithful in opening a door to providing me a bit of escape for a period of time. Our resting place from the game of dodge ball will always be found in Jesus’s embrace. And for the times I fail and let the dodge ball hit me thus falling into sin, Jesus has taken the blow on my behalf. I may feel the pain and suffer consequences of the ball hitting me but Jesus death has taken the blow in a way that I still escape the eternal punishment I deserve.
Do not be afraid of the dodge ball game. Expect it and allow Jesus to be your shield and resting place. Be faithful to him for he is your rescue. Amen.
“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.” Revelations 2:8-11