the hard places

There are those places in life which are not easy to navigate. The hard places. Trials of one kind or another. We can see them as temptations, or means of tempting us to bring us down. Or we can view them as testings to help reveal to us our true character, and help us grow in maturity according to God’s will in Jesus. James tells us to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds, since we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance, or endurance. We’re to let perseverance have its perfect work, so that we may end up mature and complete, lacking nothing.

A big part of the reason such places are hard is often that we are lacking in a certain area. God wants to bring an occasion into our lives by which we can face our deficiency, and see God help us grow up in that regard. But human nature, and certainly my own, really can chomp against the bit, not liking at all what is dished out. And yet the bit might be just what I need to get my attention. If I was merely on some pleasure cruise in this life, all might be largely well and good. But since I am among those who are followers of Jesus, I along with others am on a track of growing up in salvation into no less than full conformity to Jesus himself. Mind blowing to be sure, and one could say life blowing as well. Turning our lives upside down and right side out.

Did Jesus walk those hard places? We know from scripture that indeed he did! And with that firsthand experience, he compassionately ministers to us as our High Priest. To help us in our great need as we look to him. It may be through another brother or sister in Jesus that he will do that. Or directly to us.  So that we in turn can be a compassionate help to others through him.