Thought for the Week - 12th July

Helen Watkins

ISAIAH 43: 2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you

An American president once said, ‘’A cause worth fighting for is worth fighting for to the end.’’ The work of the church is our cause, it is the cause for Christ. It is the good fight we will have known in some measure throughout our Christian walk and is a continual battle. However, we go on so far then so often give up halfway, we run out of steam or something comes causes us to stumble. The fight once the burning drive of our heart becomes dimmed as we fade into the background. We fade in our efforts because they become exactly that, our efforts in our own strength with own agenda.   We have been studying the lives of missionaries, Elisabeth Elliot, Corrie Ten Boom, and Brother Yun. Each life laid down for Christ with a heart burdened for the salvation of others despite their own suffering.   In the modern-day testimonies of our lives here in the UK, troubles come in sickness, bereavement, financial issues, and difficulty in relationships. Sadly, our reactions are often ones of frustration and self-serving. In the west we have become like plumped up richly fed calves. We don’t know the depth of suffering as that of the missionaries, or the persecuted Christians across the globe today. We have become complacent, lethargic, comfortable, and self-serving.   Unfortunately, it is often our church life that is the first to be neglected when difficulties come our way. When other things take priority in our heart, we start to harden to the things of God. Bit by bit we grow harder, ending up in danger of becoming so hardened that we are no longer able to recognise it.   We need to know our dependence on God as we pass through the waters. We need to know what it is to fight. The world around us is ever changing and we may not always be so free to feed the way we do in this country. We didn’t expect the last 18 months of being shut in and isolated, and we haven’t come out unscathed. Many of us are finding it hard to come out from the comfort of our own homes. There continues to be a dragging pace around us as we cling on to our bit of control and self-preservation. Naturally we like a pleasant and cosy life, but as followers of Christ this is not the life we are called to. The cloud has lifted, the ark has moved, and this is time move forward with it.   The time has come to knit back together in fellowship, with purpose and fervency as the body of Christ. God has called each of us to come up higher. He calls for leaders to take their place in His church and community.   He is calling you and I to stand firm despite our momentary troubles and offer ourselves as living sacrifices for the furthering of His kingdom.   You may be feeling hard, you may not feel that fight in your heart or know where to start to get back on track. Simply quieten yourself before your Father today, allow Him to penetrate the deeps of your soul, to reach those hardened places, and reignite that fire for the cause within you.   ‘’Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.’’ (Timothy 6:12)  
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