When the Going Gets Tough
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Life has constant challenges, but on occasion we have times of adversity. The difference is challenges are a hurdle, while adversity has a clear adversary - not an obstacle but an opponent. Challenges exhaust us, tempting us to quit. But then we never grow. With adversity, the temptation is to run away due to fear. But then we never overcome. The answer to both our challenges and adversities is to persevere (endure or fight) through them. But still:
SOME PEOPLE RUN…
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:13
Why did these two head out of Jerusalem on the day they heard that Jesus had risen? They left the hub of their faith, bewildered and depressed. It would appear, that for the two, the whole thing (following Jesus) had been for naught. For them it was over. But hadn’t it just begun? Bad news plays funny tricks on us. We start to project all sorts of fears, worries and negativity that may not be factual. This causes an erosion of truth that leads to diminishing faith. We know their faith eroded some because they left all they had been taught, their friends and new found purpose as disciples of Christ. Was it fear or fatigue? Even still, Jesus met them on the road away and led them home.
…WHILE OTHERS REMAIN.
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen…” Luke 24:31-34
When Jesus broke bread, they recognized (to know) Him. Bread is symbolic of God’s word, which instills confidence, hope and faith. This was why their hearts were burning as Jesus spoke with them. When we know Jesus is with us in our challenges and adversities, life has new meaning. No longer do we want to quit or run - we lean into Jesus. We also receive a new message - ‘The Lord Is Risen!’