“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
Perhaps this has never been one of your memory verses or one which you posted on your mirror to give you a boost of encouragement. Who do you think said this? These words are from Luke 7:23 – the words of Jesus. Interestingly, He is acknowledging that some would fall away from walking in God’s will because of Him. Some of His words were difficult to follow. “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take the cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37-38). “You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24b).
Jesus never said that walking with Him would be easy. He calls us to live a holy life. He exclaims that we will be persecuted for our faith. He warns that our flesh, the world, and Satan will try to tempt us away from God’s will. He states that it is costly to follow the Messiah. Jesus’ words in Luke 7:23 were spoken to John the Baptist who was in prison and struggling with some doubt. He sent a message asking Jesus if He was really the Messiah. When we face adversity, loss, or persecution, it is easy to give into lies that God is not really who He says He is. Is Jesus the way, the truth, and the life? Is the Bible really the Word of God? We may even be tempted to doubt the existence of God. More commonly, we are tempted to embrace worldly values or a self-centered lifestyle, rather than following Christ and obeying His Word.
The Lord knows a surrendered life is not always an easy road, but it is the path to an eternal life of blessing! He gives us rest for our souls when we are weary (Matthew 11:28-30). He provides for our needs along the way (Matthew 6:25-33). He comforts us in those tough times of loss, pain, and loneliness (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And the most important point is that Jesus IS GOD and the way to eternal life! He is worthy of our surrender and worship. “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee with bow before me; every tongue will confess to God’” (Romans 14:11).
God is patient with our doubts. Bring your honest struggles to Him. But don’t turn away from His bread of life, the Word of God. Stay connected through prayer to the living water: Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Let the encouraging words of brothers and sisters help you through your uncertainties and troubles.
- Sue Corl