My TV has a “smart” function, and lately I’ve been using it to watch sermons on YouTube. It’s a way better use of my time instead of watching reruns of the “Love Boat” or “Fantasy Island.” Earlier this week, I pulled up a message from a series on faith from 2016. It correlated well with our recent walk through the book of James, so I decided to tune in.
Early in the sermon, the pastor made a statement about faith that resonated with me: “Faith doesn’t take the weight off of your life; it shows you how to handle it.” I thought about how many times I’ve tried to turn God into my “Fairy Godfather” or a magic genie who just whisks away my problems simply because I believe in Him. If I’m honest, that’s a pretty arrogant posture for me to have. I think immediately of the scripture that says “In this world you will have trouble…”
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world
you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Jesus didn’t say this life would be a walk in the park. In fact, He told us flat out we were going to struggle. Being faithful means that EVEN THOUGH we are walking through fire, we know He has extinguished the fire for us eternally, if we obey His commands. “But take heart, I have overcome this world.” God already promised that this mess we live in here on Earth is taken care of.
Growing up in the Nazarene Church, I remember we would often sing a hymn that I liked because it had a catchy tune. Fast forward several decades, and I find myself actually understanding the words and the meaning of the song. The chorus went like this:
“Trust and Obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
Than to trust and obey.”
This hymn was written by John Sammis in 1887…a time when life was simpler and less stressful, right? Apparently, the gentleman who authored this song experienced the same struggles as we do, just in a different century. The chorus contains a few simple words, but they can be so difficult as we walk through this life. In this simple chorus, he’s shown us how to “handle it.” Trust God. Obey His commands—Know God’s commands and hide His promises in your heart.
Faith doesn’t take the weight off your life; it shows you how to handle it. Believe with me today that He’s showing us how to handle the tough stuff. Struggles aren’t going to go away, but neither is our God!!