I want life to be easy. I want following God to be easy. At my core, I think that if I’m obeying God and working for his kingdom, then obstacles should fall away in front of me.
However, that’s not what the Bible and what history teaches. I was reminded of that fact when I read these words from Jeremiah 1:17-19:
“‘Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them. Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah was called as a prophet to speak the words of God to a rebellious nation. And God promised him right up front that it wasn’t going to be easy. That everyone – the king, the princes, the priests, and the people – would fight against him.
I then thought of the apostles: all martyred except for John, who was tortured and exiled to the island of Patmos.
And then the memory came to me of standing in one of the porticoes of Chartres cathedral, where bas-relief carvings on the pillars depict in gruesome detail the sufferings of the saints who had gone before.
Will many obstacles fall away in front of us when we follow God’s will? Absolutely. God will clear the path for his Word to go forth in power. But it is also true that all the armies of hell will rise against us when we seek to humbly obey the voice of our Lord.
He never promised it would be EASY. He promised we would be VICTORIOUS.