Hosea 1-4, Jude 1

Tired enough to quit? N E V E R!

I’m sure like me, you’re amazed at God’s timing… I mean, HOW does He do it? Rhetorical question, but you get the idea… it absolutely boggles the mind!

More recently than ever before, I’ve been feeling pretty beat up… feeling as though what I believe deep in my heart about how I live my life puts me into a place where I feel like a freak in a circus side show. My views on relationship and the sanctity of marriage, the family, living in a way that is honoring to God as best I can is yielding increasing comments of ridicule more now than ever before. But isn’t this what Jude was writing about in Jude 1:17-22? He was warning us of those who will try to wear us down and detract us from our focus… Jesus!

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in this holiday season, I am so very grateful for the support system I am a part of… that with support and perseverance, we may become tired, but we’re never alone as the enemy would have us believe. We’re not ‘freaks in a side show’, but rather we are children of the one true God! To love us in unimaginable ways and never give up on us no matter how much we stray.

However, I’m finding that perseverance is more than simply endurance in this fight… much more than just holding on until the very end, as glorious as that day will be. Recently while in a discussion in Community Group, the question was asked… “how do you praise God in ALL things?” I’ve thought about this question for some time… does it sound something like “Thank you, Jesus, for my job loss!”… is that was praising God in all things looks like? I don’t believe so… perhaps a better expression for what appears to be the difficulties we encounter would be “Jesus… I don’t understand why what happened has happened… but I do trust in who you are and know that with you, all things are possible. Help me to have the faith to persevere through this difficulty and to trust in the plan You have for my life.”

All of our lives are in the hands of God, just as a bow and arrow are in the hands of an archer. Just as the archer guides what has been entrusted to him, so, too, does God guide us as He is aiming us towards places we cannot see. And like the archer with his bow, God stretches us with the goal of moving us closer towards His purpose. And then, at just the right moment, in God’s time, he releases us. If we’re willing to persevere through faith and trust in Him, maintain an intimate relationship with Him, I believe brighter days will follow.

However, faith, a belief in that which is unseen, is not representative of weakness, but rather of strength and an enthusiastic confidence built on God’s love and promises. While we cannot see God in the literal sense, or often are baffled by why He does what He does, I know He is there and cares directly for me. Just look around… it’s hard to deny the existence of God when holding a baby and realize that just one cell of that baby holds the encrypted information that would fill several hundred books!

Our Heavenly Father offered His only son to save the world… the very least we can do is honor Him with unending faith of who He is through perseverance when life gets difficult. We have the wonderful opportunity to live life as a magnificent romance by seeing all things as another chance to honor God. WHAT a life that would be!!

gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)

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1 Comment

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One response to “Hosea 1-4, Jude 1

  1. I love the line about living life as a magnificent romance as well as seeing our lives as an arrow in the hands of the archer. That’s great encouragement when life feels painful and its direction random. Thank you.

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