August 1 I Monday
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching....Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching.’” —John 14:23-24
If we are all honest, there are moments in our life that make us not act like a follower of Jesus Christ. It could be moments when we are with our family or even close friends and we find ourselves challenged to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus. We could probably recall a situation where we know Jesus is calling us to love somebody and we are like, “No, I can’t do it. I just can’t do it!” Or maybe it has to do with forgiveness, where Jesus is telling us to forgive someone and we are like, “Sorry, Jesus, I just can’t do it.” During the unprecedented COVID-19, it had been a trying season for all of us. Maybe during this time, we had some meltdowns, frustrations, anger and sadness. Beneath all of these emotions, we hear the Lord telling us to be one way, but a part of us is saying, “I don’t want to do that—I don’t want to do that, God.”
Whatever we may be going through or have gone through, at some point in our life, we find ourselves in situations where we are challenged to live up to being called a follower of Jesus Christ. In that challenge, we either rise up to meet it or we fall short, or maybe we do not know what to do. Regardless, the challenge is not easy, but the good news is that we are not the first or the only people facing these challenges.
Scripture teaches that we must grow to see things through the eyes of faith and to live a life that is counter-cultural, even when our earthly senses tell us not to trust God and not to be obedient to His teachings. The next time we are struggling with how to respond to the challenge of life, do not ask, “Why, God, am I going through this situation?” Rather, reframe our perspective and ask, “How, God, can I trust You through this situation?” Imagine the type of fruit that we can have when we put our trust in Jesus and live a life following Jesus in obedience.
We may not be challenged all the time, but there will be challenges that come. When we come to a fork in the road, may we remember that in life, the most important decision we are going to make is to trust and follow Jesus. God created us to live for so much more than how we can even imagine ourselves right now, and so much of how we get there lies in how we respond to God’s challenge to obey Him.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, challenges in life are inevitable, but I pray that when I face these challenges that I will choose to trust and obey You. May I be a reflection of You in this broken and fallen world. Thank You, Lord.