Not Always a Comfortable Journey
Why is this important to note? Well, it has been on my mind lately, especially since I heard a recent sermon in which a well-known preacher spoke about the decisions that some of Jesus' very own disciples made. In particular, he spoke of Judas and Peter. Both of these men were chosen by Jesus and were with him every day. They shared in his journey here on earth. They shared meals with him, witnessed the miracles, and helped carry on the daily affairs of his ministry. They even ministered in his name! Yet, in spite of all of this, both men betrayed Jesus at one point in their life. One sold him out for money, while the other claimed not to know him for fear of persecution!
In thinking about my own spiritual journey, I shudder to think of the many times in my life that I've been a "sell-out"! Being a "sell-out" for me means that I'm only a Christian (Christ-follower) when it is convenient for me! When others around me believe just as I do. When there will be no persecution! Yes...that's me sometimes...a sell-out!
How is it that we can be so close to Jesus one moment...so on fire, and then find ourselves so far away the next?
The preacher concludes his sermon with a message of hope. While it's true that one of the men mentioned in the story goes on to commit suicide due to his tremendous guilt (Judas), the other man is restored by Jesus himself and goes on to be used mightily by the Lord!
Isn't that just like our God? He knows us intimately; every detail. He knows of our pains, our joys, and our deeds. He knows us because he formed us...He created us. In spite of all that we have ever done (or will ever do), isn't it comforting to know that He still loves us?!
I share this story as a reminder that no matter how great the sorrow we may have in life; no matter how great the failure may be, or how many times we've rejected him, cursed him, and denied him, Jesus is still there for us...for me! That, my friend, encourages me!
"And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Jesus (Matthew 28:20)