Jesus you maintain, you sustain.
Last night after a busy week of lots of work and play and little sleep I heard myself telling Laura, "I am so impatient. I know God is asking me to cast my burdens on him and rest in his peace, but I am unsettled. I am anxious and weary. I am being so impatient. I don`t know what the Lord is doing, I cannot discern how He is calling me to love."
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing
that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:58
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone,
and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
These are the words I hear replaying in my mind, but the struggle is tense forcing my flesh to obey them. Sometimes ministry is so tiring and wears us down. Sometimes Jesus calls us to struggle through this life in identifying with Him and experiencing the life that He endured for our sake. Last sunday a missionary in South Africa spoke and said this profound thought: Us American Christians tell ourselves and others that we identify with Jesus Christ, but I wonder if Jesus Christ would say He identifies with us? That thought first convicted me of ALL the ways in which my life does NOT match up with gospel, but secondly it gave me comfort in realizing the joy in identifying with Christ. As painful as it can be, it is making me more like Jesus, and for that I give thanks. Anything He does to kill this flesh is a joy. I count everything else as lost compared to knowing Him! And I take comfort in knowing He intercedes for me in these times when I am weak and weary and want to give up.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail."
Luke 22:31-32 ESV
"Our Lord Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail, and within a few hours his courage did fail.
The more we think of those last hours of our Lord, just before Calvary, the more we see every knid of trial compressed into them. It was not only that His cup was filled to overflowing with suffering, but that every variety of suffering was there. It is easy to escape from the intolerable thought of such suffering by saying He was God, and so where Peter was concerned He looked forward to the victory that would be given. But we know, though we cannot understand it, that He was man too, and Hebrews 2:18 says that he suffered being tempted.
Is there one for whom we are praying, who seems to be unhelped by our prayer? Are we suffering the bitterness of disappointment? Our dear Lord has been this way before us. He who turned and looked upon Peter (Luke 22:61) will give to us, will maintain in us, His own tenderness of spirit, the love that cannot be tired out of loving, the patience that will not let go."
This is my prayer today Lord, and not only today but continuously. Give to me, and maintain in me, your tenderness of spirit, your love that won`t tire from loving, your patience that will not let go.