It’s Not Complicated, Just Hard

Faith works by working faith (James 2:17).

I mean, a soldier going into battle picks up his or her sword or gun and uses it to fight the enemy.

Yes, he or she gets exhausted. Yes, he or she feels discouraged. Yes, he or she tires and thirsts, but he or she keeps fighting on for the goal of winning.

Our Christian walk is the same way. When I read about how God gave the promised land to the Israelites but they still had to fight for it, I see huge implication for our own lives as we walk with Christ while here on this earth.

Yes, He promises victory. Yes, He promises peace that passes all understanding. Yes, He promises joy (which is far different than happiness but that is a topic for another blog),

BUT,

We need to fight for these things (1 Timothy 6:11-12) – just like the Israelites fought for their promised land. They had to overthrow the inhabitants of the land and were supposed to rid the land of them (they didn’t always do that.) (Read the book of Joshua). It’s really not complicated, it’s just hard. And the song I wrote in my mid-twenties with that title reflects that reality.

It’s Not Complicated, It’s Just Hard

It’s not complicated, it’s just hard to walk the word of God in your daily life. To walk and talk and love and shine the light of God around; It’s not complicated, it’s just hard. (Hebrews 10:19-39; Matthew 7:14).

1. But Jesus has promised to guide us (John 16:13) With Him all things work together for the good (Romans 8:28) Though at times we’ll trip and fall, just get up and heed His call (Psalm 37:23-24) A righteous man falls seven times and gets up again! (Proverbs 24:16)

2. So press on, press on for the mark of the high calling in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:12-14) Satan will try to sway you but just keep your eyes on God (Hebrews 12:1-2) He’s the solid rock to build your life upon! (Psalm 18 – just one of many passages about Christ being our solid rock. Check your concordance!)

3. The Holy Spirit will convict you, and He will help you to grow (John 14:26) From glory to glory as we mature in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18) A perfect vessel we shall be to honor Him! (2 Corinthians 4:7-18).

by Beth Bottomley (Symanzik), 1985

In my twenties I spent some time in a Christian psychiatric hospital for depression and anorexia. It was there I started learning how to apply God’s Word to the dailyness of life, to various struggles. It was there I saw the marching around Jericho as a metaphor for how we need to march around our issues, our struggles, and trust that God will bring the wall down, the stronghold down. Our strongholds and addictions may not fall as fast as we’d like them to but in all the struggle and the waiting God is moving, growing us into His likeness, and always faithful.

The song, Do It Again performed by Elevation Music, really sums up the struggle and the trust.

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But you have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For you have never failed me yet

Promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet

I know the night won’t last
Your word will come to pass
My heart will sing your praise again
Jesus you’re still enough
Keep me within your love
My heart will sing your praise again

Your promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet

I’ve seen you move, you move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see you do it again
You made a way, when there was no way
And I believe I’ll see you do it again
I’ll see you do it again

Your promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in your hands
You’ve never failed me yet
You’ve never failed me yet

I never will forget
You’ve never failed me yet
I never will failed

I’ve seen you move, you move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see you do it again
You made a way, when there was no way
And I believe I’ll see you do it again

from the album Speak Revival · Copyright: Writer(s): Mack Brock, Steven Furtick, Matthew James Redman, Christopher Brown

Jeremiah 6:16 tells us to Stand by the roads and look and ask for the ancient paths where the good way is and walk in it and find rest for your souls.

Rest comes in seeking God FIRST in ALL our ways, every moment of every day – whether it’s changing diapers, working at a job, doing household chores, running errands, studying, interacting with others,…. Every moment, having our eyes set on Him, is the way forward.

Acts 14:22b tells us through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Life can be difficult. People can be difficult. Battles are hard. I don’t mean to sound callous or uncaring. I desire to come alongside and help other soujourners on this path of life Christ has each of us on. We are called to come alongside each other and encourage, build up, support (See Romans 15, 1 Thessalonians 5:11). So I’m encouraging and exhorting that giving in to feelings and thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word and then wondering why faith isn’t working leads to frustration and despair.

And our God is a God of hope (Romans 15).

So, if depression is the ‘enemy’, fight it. Choose to give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Get medicine to take. Exercise. Seek therapy. Deal with issues honestly. (See https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm for more info.) But choose to not give in to the negative talk wanting you to hide in your room or telling you to take your own life.

If overeating is your issue, or compulsive spending, or gossiping, or whatever your besetting sin is ….choose to walk in balance and not compulsion. Find a support group (they are still available online in this day of social distancing). Talk with a counselor. Join Weight Watchers. Get the help and support needed to fight the battle, but, fight. It’s going to be difficult. At times you will slip and fall. Ask God for wisdom. He gives us counsel and in the night our hearts will instruct us (Psalm 16:7).

We will gain ground in the fight but we will not necessarily ever win the war totally in this lifetime. We do see in a mirror dimly now, but in Him we press on and grow in His way (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Walk in His ways. It does lead to rest.

Published by pianobeth7

I'm a mom. Our family lived overseas for 11 1/2 years. The mission field was rich with healing and deepening faith in Christ. I enjoy piano playing, cooking, writing, reading, doing projects. I've been married to my husband since 1990. I have a bachelor degree in social work and a masters in counseling, non-licensure. I've taught creative writing, English, and New Testament at the international school my kids attended while living overseas.

2 thoughts on “It’s Not Complicated, Just Hard

  1. Jeremiah 31 was our easing for today. It’s a long chapter but does talk about God making straight paths for us to walk on!

    Like

  2. Hi Beth,

    I just wanted to let you know how much this blog post meant to me. Thank you for sharing your wisdom about HARD WORK, and rest through the trials and temptations of life walking with Christ. It’s a really fitting encouragement and what I needed to hear with my situation. Miss you and thankful for this way of staying connected! Blessings to you and your family.

    Claire Drevets

    On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 10:08 AM (former) MISSIONARY MUSINGS wrote:

    > pianobeth7 posted: ” Faith works by working faith (James 2:17). I mean, a > soldier going into battle picks up his or her sword or gun and uses it to > fight the enemy. Yes, he or she gets exhausted. Yes, he or she feels > discouraged. Yes, he or she tires and thirsts, b” >

    Like

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