The Most Difficult Thing To Do

Think of something that is very difficult for you. It will be different things for different people. Maybe you have difficulty with mechanical things. So your lawnmower won't start and you don’t even know where to look. Or maybe its electronics. You think Facebook is a NY Times best seller. Your children or grandchildren always have to show you how to use your ipad or phone. Maybe it's cooking. It does not matter if you have a recipe with step by step directions, you’re still making something not even the neighborhood raccoons would eat. Whatever it is, we all have things that are difficult for us to accomplish.
Now what comes to mind when you think of courage? What or who do you think of when you hear that word? Maybe a soldier that has gone to war. Or perhaps you think it takes courage to stand up in front of people and speak publicly or to walk on a steel beam on a high rise building. What action or activity would scare you? What would require great courage? Flying? Skydiving? Bungee jumping? Or simply driving on the thruway?
Now you have these images in your mind about what is difficult and courageous. Yet I want to tell you something that is even more difficult and more courageous than what you are thinking about...faithfulness. I believe it is more difficult and more courageous to stay faithful to God and His word, than anything else you will do in your life. Think I am overstating it? Lets see what the Bible has to say about it:
“Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6)

“Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.” (Psalm 12:1)
Staying faithful to the Lord is not for the faint of heart. We are very fickle and weak as humans. We give into our desires. We pledge allegiance to our Messiah and then give into temptation. We sing glory to God in the security of the church and then are silent about Him when we are in the world. Adam and Eve, the only perfect humans, the very best of humanity, could not even stay faithful to God. Staying faithful to Him is extremely difficult and takes a lot of courage. It could mean embarrassment, extreme sacrifice, loss of friends, family, jobs and our dignity. Christian attorney Alex Harris says, “Often, the hardest things in my life have been what no one sees. Faithfulness is very different from pursuing the limelight or achieving the highest position you can achieve. Often turning down those positions because that's the path of wisdom and faithfulness is the much harder thing and the right thing.”
Why is it so difficult? Because we are fickle and weak humans with a sin nature. Forget being faithful to God all the way to martyrdom, we can’t even resist our petty sins for a day! It is difficult because we can’t. It is impossible. It is courageous because we are scared of man more than God. It happens to the best of us. Look at Peter. The head apostle. Jesus’ rock who He’ll build His church on. Yet three times he wouldn’t even acknowledge that he knew who Jesus was. He was even unfaithful to God because of being asked the question from a girl! And he wasn’t the only one; Judas, Demas, David, Simon the sorcerer, Jonah and Solomon, the smartest man ever! This is why Jesus told everyone that they must count the cost before deciding to follow Him (Luke 14:25-27). For being faithful to God costs your life (Matthew 16:24-26).
But we are His children! Shouldn’t we of all people be the most faithful? How do we change this? What do we have to do to be more faithful and less fickle? Simply go to Christ. In Galatians we are told one of the fruits of the Spirit is “faithfulness” (See Galatians 5:22). So then we must ask, “How do we develop more fruit?”. Jesus told us this in John; “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4–5)  We need to abide in Christ! Look to Him, pray to Him and read His word. We need to stop consuming the world around us and consume more of Jesus. R. Kent Hughes put it well, “Since we need faith to run the race, we must be ‘looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith.’ That is, as the Greek literally indicates, we must deliberately lift our eyes from other distracting things and focus with utter concentration on Him-and continue doing so. We must not look away even for an instant. Such focus is indispensable to a life of faith and to finishing the race.”
Now, will we ever be perfectly faithful? No. But praise be to God, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) And He will forgive you, for we live under grace. Still that does not mean we shouldn’t be working at it! We don’t forget about being slaves for Christ. We must turn to the strength that is in us from His Spirit. We must look to Christ and take that step of faith. Are you ready to do the most difficult and courageous thing in your life? Are you willing to commit to Him regardless of the cost? Look to Him and trust Him regardless and you will hear those words; “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

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