No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
It has been over a week since 2017 came into our lives and already people are contemplating whether or not they should just quit with their “New Year’s Resolutions”. If you have not had those thoughts of “is it worth it” or “eh, who cares”, good job! For the ones that are struggling, you need not worry.
Our quote comes from the book of First Corinthians…
*whispers* That’s in the bible!
I am sure most of you knew that, but figured I would throw some help your way if you were lost for a second. Now back to the original topic.
At times, I like to think of myself as a minister because I have a passion for helping people and a love for God. However, I have always struggled with reading His word. Why? To put it simply, it is boring. I will not be that guy that talks like “I just love reading his word” and “I can’t get enough of it”. It really is not an exciting book to read. If you were raised in the Bible Belt, you know some of those famous Bible stories like David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Noah’s Ark, but you will quickly find that the Bible is not a page turner.
Where am I going with this? Am I bashing the Bible? No! I am not. I have been jealous of people that Love to read the bible everyday as if it was a best selling thriller or whatever genre you like to read. I wanted that passion and love for it! How did these people find a love for reading His Word everyday? It was a mystery to me. I prayed over it for months. I even questioned if I was praying about it wrong. That is not Grace. That is works. How can I accomplish something for God to be pleased enough with me to give me an answer. In not so many words, that pretty much is the reason behind questioning our failures as Christians.
“I didn’t work hard enough”, “I didn’t do something right or sinned so God is punishing me, Lord forgive me and come back into my heart”, “Well, I guess it’s because I took that piece of bubble gum at the gas station when I was 5 years old, and God is wanting me to repent.”
Okay, maybe the last one was just me.
*Note: we will not dive into the whole grace filled gospel of Jesus here. If you want more teachings on the gospel that is hard hitting and no holding back, check out Andrew Wommack. If you want the softer side, check out Joseph Prince. Both are excellent teachers.*
After so many months of questioning, I found my answer in a letter. I will spare you the details of it, but I could not put the letter down. Why? It was not a story. It was just a simple letter to me. At that moment, I made a joke saying something like the bible is a love letter to us because I had heard a preacher say that once.
*A light bulb turned on*
I walked over to the entertainment center where my bible had been collecting dust and opened the good Word. I decided to read it as if GOD HIMSELF WROTE THIS LETTER TO ME. I can attest that it worked. No longer was it completely boring, just a little. That was a joke. I flipped through the pages of the New Testament and was surprised at how much knowledge for living life was contained in these pages and how blind I was previously to it.
In conclusion, if you are struggling with resolutions, try to look at it a little differently. That’s what I had to do with my bible reading. Instead of looking at it like an actual story, I had to look at it like it was a letter directly to me. In order for a different view, sometimes you have to clear your mind of all the junk that is poisoning it. You need not beat yourself up for past failures. If you are a Christian, let those things go. If you are not a Christian, let those things go. Let them go. Okay, I think you get the picture. You are going to make mistakes, Jesus freak or not. Do not let your mistakes define your path. They will cloud your judgement and your thoughts making it hard to think clearly. Once your mind is clear, think of a different way of approach to your resolution. It may be trial and error, and you may have to let multiple tries/failures go, but eventually you will get to that light bulb moment and all will be good.
That’s all I’ve got.