"Ewwww, that sounds hard though," my best friend exclaimed. We were talking about the necessity of conviction and trials for our faith walk with God. I laughed to myself because her answer was so honest, and also completely on point with how most of humanity feels about the disciplines of faith.
No one likes to be uncomfortable... Why would you?
The most uncomfortable season for many believers, both new and experienced, is 'fast' approaching (pun intended, haha). That's right, Lent and Easter are just around the calendar corner! Traditionally, Lent is a time of discipline and sacrifice for followers of Christ where we recognize the 40 days that He spent in the wilderness. It was hard, tempting, and well, (here's that word again) uncomfortable. And although it probably felt much the same, this was not a punishment from God. It was a time of expedient and accelerated growth for Jesus to prepare for His ministry.
"At once the Spirit brought him into the desert, where he was tempted by Satan for 40 days." Mark 1:12
So, what kept Jesus in that seemingly uncomfortable spot; why did He continue the growth process even when Satan correctly pointed out that Jesus could call off the whole thing?
Jesus stayed uncomfortable, because he understood the value of discipline for His and OUR growth!
Let me tell you right now: your process of growth is not that different from Jesus'. You too are being called to the disciplines of the faith! Maybe your wilderness has been abuse, a loveless marriage, or a bout with addiction. Maybe you are feeling crushed by the whispering jeers of the enemy right now, and you can even hear him (little "h"im, remember that) in your ear.
You might be looking for a way out: up, down, around... but the only way that grows our faith is the discipline of going through it.
Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
But be encouraged, Jesus had the Spirit to tend to Him, and so do you! We are called to this faith building discipline, and we are called to much more after its passing. It may be uncomfortable, but it is not meant to punish you. This disciple process isn't meant to ham you: it is meant to grow you, grow your influence, grow your peace, grow your fruit!
In Him (BIG "H"im),
Ariana is mother to Lydia, Willow, and Gideon, as well as wife to real life super hero, Joseph. She enjoys anything creative from gardening to visual arts, and desires a life where simplicity is an ethic. Above all else, she loves Jesus.