Unlike the easy button made popular by Staples, life does not have an easy button.
There are many times in life where you find yourself wondering: What should I say? What should I do? Where should I go?
You might expect a pastor to tell you to turn in your Bible to a specific page for your specific circumstance. There is a lot of practical help in there, but it does not usually work that way.
We talked one Sunday morning about the people found in Hebrews 11. The chapter starts:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
It goes on and provides us with a great list of people who lived by faith. Abraham moved because of his faith. Moses led the people out of Egypt because of his faith. Abraham and Moses are only two examples. But what did they do? They did great things, and yes, we know them now. But what did they do?
They lived their lives with God. Hebrews 12 goes on:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
We have a great cloud of witnesses who lived their lives by faith, living with God.
So we have brought up the topic of fear and pain the last two weeks. You may have read the headlines in the news from last week only to read of threats from Russia and how we have only 60 days to get Ebola under control.
Press the easy button? No, it is not that easy, and yet, I do not think it is quite as hard as we make it.
The answer as Christians is to live a life of faith, to live our lives with God no matter what happens around us. I heard Andy Stanley share a definition of great faith, saying that great faith is great surrender. Stanley looks at Jesus, a man of really, really great faith, who came to say and do what the Father said.
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me. (John 12)
As Christians, we are called to live a life with God, following Jesus. Do we always know where to go or what to say? No.
I like to say that we cannot live our Christian journeys out alone. I say this because to live as God calls us to live is not natural. We would rather do what we want to do, and most of the time that is the path we choose. This is one reason I am so excited about the Journey Groups we started this fall. They provide an opportunity to share with one another, to help each other live life out with God.
Take time today, talk to God, read your Bible and hear from God, live your life with God. It can be that “easy.”
PS – Believe it or not, the first ten-week session of the Journey Groups will be winding down soon. Be sure to catch the next ten-week session though.
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)