IS IT WORTH IT?

Image of woman in the Great Depression

I was greatly moved as I watched the movie The Insanity of God. It follows missionaries Nik and Ruth Ripken as they explore the persecuted church to see if all of the suffering is worth it. The Ripkens had a crisis of faith following the death of their son and their experiences with the struggling church in Somalia as relief missionaries. They were left with the burning question: “Is any of this worth it?”

HARDSHIPS UNDER THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD

Read Hebrews chapter 11 and ask that same question. All of the individuals listed had to accept great hardships while still under the providence of God.  Abraham had to wait decades for God to give him his promised son via a wife who was well past the age of child bearing.  Abe is ready for a nursing home when God chooses to make him a proud daddy.

SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS

Someone else on the list is Moses, the pride and joy of the Old Testament.  Moses endured the school of hard knocks: 40 years branded an outcast and a murderer. His new career was the dead-end job of herding sheep in the desert.  Finally, at age 80, Moses is commissioned by God to lead a people whose second nature was to continually complain and to question his leadership.  It would seem that God would give that kind of job to someone young and bursting with energy, not to a man with one foot in the grave. Did Abe or Moses ever wonder, “Is any of this worth it?”

DID THEY WONDER?

Hebrews goes on to mention those who experienced mocking and flogging, and further, chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented(people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, on mountains, and sheltering in caves and holes in the ground. (Hebrews 11:36-38) Did they wonder, “Is this worth it?”

HOW TO LIVE WHEN THINGS ARE DIFFICULT

The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Philippians from the isolation of a prison cell.  He was lonely, cold, missing and out of touch with his loved ones, not knowing if his stay would stretch into days or years. Yet he wrote in Philippians 4:12-14: I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general, and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either poverty or plenty. (J.B. Phillips)The secret is total dependence on the strength of Jesus Christ. One’s own natural strength is never enough.

THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL

What kind of season are you currently going through? Has the going been rough? Take courage, you have the company of heaven. You also have the fellowship of believers around the world. At this minute they are calling on the presence of Jesus to walk them through the dark. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] (Amplified).  The tough times may be the greatest gift of all.  It is worth it!

Author: Jacquelin Stoner

I have had years of walking alongside of individuals, encouraging those who want to change, but need help navigating to the better place God has envisioned for their lives. I believe Christ is central to genuine lasting life change.

Delight in helping women to discover wholeness in their "New Normal".