The Struggle

Him [Jesus Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

-Colossians 1:28-29

Serving God may require toil, the kind of hard work that wears us out. Doing God’s work can be a struggle because we are fighting an enemy (Satan) and overcoming obstacles.

Throughout our work for God, throughout the toil and struggle of our labor, we also know that it is God’s energy that keeps us going. He will work through us during our labor in a powerful way.

We must persist in the work of the Lord because others need to know the One who saved us and who is able to save them!

 

 

[Adapted from ELIJAH: Lessons on God and Godly Living From One Flawed Human to Another by Trisha L. Knaul.]

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2016 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Be a Sonflower

I recently learned about sunflowers and it got me thinking about how they reflect the relationship we should have with God. Let me explain.

Sunflowers need the sun to display all their beauty. When it is not sunny they droop. When it is sunny, they perk up and shine their faces for all to see. They are a happy flower. It is amazing to see a whole field of happy sunflowers. As the earth rotates around the sun, these happy flowers follow the sun. Their heads are focused on the sun, not hanging down focusing on the ground and what is around them.

So, my friend, it is for us. In order for us to shine for God we need to focus on Him. We need to follow the Son and not get dragged down by all that is around us pulling us down. I like the amplified version of Hebrews 12:2:

“[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].”

Did you catch that? We are to look and focus our eyes on Jesus. It is a command. Like Peter, when he jumped out of the boat to walk toward Jesus. While he kept his eyes focused on the Son, he did great. Once his eyes came off of the Son, he started to sink. We need to keep our eyes focused on the Son. We need to follow Him continuously.

Isaiah 26:3 (AMP) reads “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You-in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

Sunflowers need the sun to help them stay upright and beautiful. They are totally dependent on that. We need the Son to help us stay on the right path and shine beautifully for Him. See, we have a major advantage that the sunflowers do not. Our advantage: Jesus is always there for us. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5b) We can always follow Him. He is always there.

Are you walking down a dark path of despair, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, change or any other hard times? Remember, He promised He won’t leave us. He wants us to stay focused on Him. Like the happy little sunflowers focus on the sun, stay focused on the Son and be a Sonflower for Him.

 

Scripture taken from the AMPLIFIED® BIBLE, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation Used by Permission. (www.Lockman.org)