WHEN THE PATH GETS ROUGH…
One of the first Bible verses I memorized was Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” I’ve always liked that promise and refer to it many times. Recently, however, I received some new insight into the word “straight.” It doesn’t mean “smooth,” “downhill” or “easy and simple.” It would be great if it did – but that’s not how God directs us. It is referring to God’s promise to keep us moving toward Christ-likeness – His life goal for us. He keeps us going straight in that direction when we follow Him. That should be our personal life goal in life as well. Unfortunately the path to becoming more like Jesus is not easy, smooth or downhill, is it? Jesus’ road through this world was certainly not that way, and ours won’t be either if we follow Him.
Maybe that’s why it often seems our prayers aren’t answered. Perhaps we pray too much for straight, easy, smooth paths to travel in our Christian life. Instead we should let Him choose the path and then we pray for strength, faithfulness and courage to walk it. I’m sure we’d see more answer to prayer, as well as more Christ-likeness in our lives, if we did so!
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Are you willing to trust God for the paths He takes you on through life? Are you facing something in life now which is difficult? Are you trusting God to help you through it or focusing your energies on praying that He remove it? Choose to draw near to God and let Him help you move ahead step by step.
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization