Monday, January 24, 2011

Why do we go on?

It's becoming harder and harder these days to be a Christian, don't you think? At least it seems that way to me living out here in California. When I was young, most people behaved. Now, living a righteous life is frowned upon.

Oh, you're one of those Jesus Freaks? Actually, yes I am!
You think you're better than everyone else. Nope, not really.
You hate homosexuals, right? No, I don't hate anyone. 
You're narrow-minded and intolerant. Ah, well, if you mean do I believe there is only one way to get to heaven and that's through the blood-sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Yes, then I suppose I am narrow-minded and intolerant.  
So, if I don't believe in Jesus, I'm going to hell? Afraid so.

Yet for those of us living in America, this kind of abuse is a walk in the park compared to our brothers and sisters living abroad. 176,000 Christians were martyred from mid 2008-mid 2009. The Christian life isn't easy. It's a life of discipline, struggle, and persecution. It's a life of faith. We spend our time reading the Bible, submitting the will of God, reaching out to others, helping the poor. We deny ourselves. Some of us have lost friends because of our faith. Some have family members who refuse to speak to us. So, why do we do it?

I found the answer to the question, why do we go on,  in Paul's letters to the persecuted churches in his day.
In Colossians 1, Paul praises the church for their faith and love, and in verse 5, he mentions their motivation for their hard work and faithfulness.  Because of the hope of experiencing what is laid up, reserved and waiting for you in heaven.

And in Romans 8, Paul further declares
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.... For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 

In Romans 15, Paul tells us that the Scriptures were written explicitly so we might have Hope. Did you know that?
For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by our steadfast and patient endurance and the encouragement drawn from the Scriptures, we might hold fast to and cherish hope

What is that hope?
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 1Thess 2:18

And again in Titus 2, Paul says
looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ

I think many Christians have lost sight of their Hope. We get too caught up in the business of religion, the duties, the discipline, the pot lucks and Sunday Schools, that we forget what it's all about. And then when persecution hits or temptation strikes, we haven't got our Helmet of Hope on and we give in and fall away.

So, let me remind  you here. This life is but a vapor, a millisecond on the clock of eternity. Nothing, and I mean Nothing is more important than where you will spend that eternity!!  And if you choose to spend it with God, it's a glorious eternity!! Filled with peace and joy and love and happiness, fulfillment and purpose, golden streets and pearly gates and a new creation that is beyond our wildest dreams. 

And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. Paul, the apostle, 1 Cor 15:19 

So don't give up!! Grab your helmet of hope and put it atop your head!  You're in for the ride of your life! 


  1. Monday, Jan 24th,
    Morning, MaryLu.
    I cling on to that "blessed hope" MaryLu ... that of Christ's return. Proverbs has much to say about a person 'without hope'. (Without hope, a man perishes.) Let us "all" place and keep that 'helmet of hope' on !!!
    Thanks again, for another "timely Word in due season" !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. What a wonderful through provoking post.You are right on with this one.God Bless and have a wonderful day!

  3. You said it all, MaryLu. Great post. You really have something to offer with these 'messages'. Please keep my suggestion in mind about a devotional. Have a great and blessed week.

  4. Thanks, Ladies! So often when I feel overwhelmed by life, I try to remember that this is but a moment in time and a grand eternity awaits me. It really helps put things in perspective, eh? May God richly bless your week!

  5. A very good post, MaryLu! It's a topic that's been on my mind a lot, so much so that I actually once wrote a song about all that. It went like this:

    Lost in a world
    Dark from sin
    I fell to my knees
    Couldn't get up again.
    "Lord, save me now,"
    I cried through my tears,
    "I'm filled with such pain,
    Please save me somehow."
    Then a voice came to me,
    Said "My child, you will be
    Forever in my hands."
    And now I know...

    This isn't the end for me
    With Christ forever I will be
    When I reach the end of
    This life's road
    I will tread upon
    The streets of gold
    I will lift my voice
    In joyous praise
    To the One who saved me
    By His grace
    I will live forever
    With the One who died for me.

    Sometimes this life
    Seems too hard
    Our souls get hurt
    And break apart
    We cry out "Lord, are you there?
    These trials seem
    Too hard to bear."
    But if we life up our eyes
    Unto the skies
    We will see that hope is there.

    [Repeat Chorus]

    There'll be no more tears
    No more pain
    No more fears
    'Cause I'm living again
    I'll fly away to be with Jesus
    In heaven!

    [Rep Chorus]


  6. Oh my, Sasafras, what a wonderful song! I can't believe you wrote that. It's beautiful. Do you have someone who can put it to music? It would make a great worship song at church. You really have a talent. Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. Thanks MaryLu, you have no idea how much I appreciate that. I actually have the music for it, but I have yet to put it to paper and see if I can sing it at church.


  8. Bless you MaryLu for posting about this topic! I have lost many, many friends over my faith (or as they say, my narrow-mindedness). Its hard to find someone who really is sold out for Christ. Even some of the people who call themselves Christians hint that I'm more akin to being in a cult! Ha! I only shake my head in pity. They don't understand what's at stake here-your place in eternity. I'd rather be in the presence of God than anywhere else!
    Anyways, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. Its a great encouragement-especially to people my age (I'm 20).

  9. P.S. There's a very good song by Needtobreathe that absolutely fits your pic for today. Its called Streets of Gold. Check it out here:


  10. Sasafras, I really do hope you get to sing your song at church!
    Eszter, I have a stepson who's 20 and I sure wish he felt the way you do about the Lord! What a joy to see someone so young so in love with God. I loved the YouTube song!!