"Comfort" has pampered many Christians. 2020 has made that exceedingly obvious.
By J. Sells
Now what could I mean by that first line? Well, by it, I mean that you need to stop being a slouch in your faith. Get off the “recliner”, so to speak. I write this because I’ve seen 2020 absolutely wreck the faiths of many who I thought, were steadfast men and women of God. At least, that’s what I was led to believe based on what I saw externally.
Your Christianity must be more than your hobbies.
Government shut downs and closures continuing into 2021 is inevitable. As hopeful as we are for the New Year, I do unfortunately believe that we’re in for more loss. More sadness. Perhaps, more chaos, but of a different breed. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a total doom and gloom outlook for the upcoming year, but what I do know for certain is that it will require a different kind of faith from us. A different kind of hope. One you can’t get from your hobbies. Your Christianity must be more than your hobbies. We’ve been so used to hanging out during and after church, playing music on stage, and leading whole congregations into the presence of God through the preached word. But with that seemingly stripped from us, there are many who have felt and maybe are still feeling “naked” in their faith.
Photo by M.T. Elgassier on Unsplash.
There are those of us who have woven a blanket of “community” and swaddled ourselves with it, saying to ourselves, “This is faith. This is Christianity.” And it makes you feel warm and cozy, and reaffirms everything about ‘God’s love’ that you’ve been telling yourself. Isn’t it great when all of that works together? Sure it is.
But what if…that blanket were snatched clean off you?
Perhaps, as you felt both the blanket and your warmth escape from your body, you reached out and clung to this blanket, fervently jerking it back in an attempt to take back your comfort. In an attempt to take back your 'safety'. But…it was taken from you anyway.
It was seized from you.
And you sit there, naked. Cold. Despondent. Angry at yourself. Worse yet…
Angry at God.
We’ve borne cloths of comfort. Not the armor of God.
I’ve seen so many come to question God’s existence this year. Too many to count. And I believe, it’s mainly because a lot of the pleasures and comforts we once enjoyed, we can no longer enjoy. We have made these ‘comforts’ our faith foundations, our faith homes, dangling Christianity on its sides as an accessory. There are many who have pointed to God, saying, “How dare you take this from me.”
“Give it back. Now!”
Thing is, God didn’t “strip” us of these comforts. I think it’s fine if one sees them as a bi-product of us loving Him and trusting Him, and Him being a good father to His children, but they were never meant to be a receipt that we point to as ‘proof’ that God loves us. They were most certainly not meant to be the foundations of our faith. We’ve borne cloths of comfort. Not the armor of God.
And that’s what has led the faith of many to ruin.
Photo by Samuele Giglio on Unsplash.
The enemy is ferocious. Cunning. Malicious. Deadly. You shouldn’t dare dream of doing battle with him in nothing but a nightgown. Yet, we often do. And I believe 2020 has exposed that unfortunate truth! We’ve been battered senseless by his blows this year. And no one saw it coming.
Because no one was prepared.
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
This is an age old quote from a hymn written by Edward Mote in 1834. Truer words have never been spoken. All other “ground” (aka foundations) literally crumbles quicker than you can grab for it. As you fall, the jagged rocks of the “mountain” you made an idol of will crack your skull open on the way down. And you figured a blanket would protect you? Tsk tsk tsk…this shouldn’t be so.
There must be firmer protection. There must be more solid ground!
Ephesians 6:13–18 describes the armor of God, how we should wear it, and the purpose each piece serves. This way, when (yes when) the enemy comes, we know exactly how to proceed. When he approaches to do battle, we will emerge victorious. Notice, I didn’t say unscathed. But victorious.
Christian. Guard your faith. Your real one. Your trust and hope in Jesus. That can never be taken from you. No matter what.
Grace and peace.