If you’ve ever been to a workout gym you will hear all kinds of comments about working out. You will probably see a trainer yelling out to some poor guy going “you can do better than that!” Then you will go to the next station and some lady trainer will be yelling out, “If it’s gonna help, it’s gonna hurt.” The lady looks back at the trainer and says, “then I don’t want it to help.” When you decide to shape up in anything whether physical or spiritual you have to be willing to feel the burn. When training the body you have to go through the soreness, injuries, recovering from injuries, and the overall mindset has to be commitment. Why? Cause it’s going to be tough, but the end result is worth it every time. In the spiritual life you will have many different stages to go through and at times they will seem too tough, but hang in there. One of the toughest things for us to have to deal with as believers is words. When you take a stand for Christ you are going to be misunderstood, chastised, and at times victimized. It’s going to hurt at times, but it’s going to help in the long run. Some Christians don’t even want to get into the tough part and they will only let people know they are believers when they are inside a church. That way if we say something or do something marginal no one calls our hand. Keep in mind our spiritual exercise is in the world and every day people see us and want to know if we will really stand by our faith or not. When we proclaim Christ, we must do it in every part of our life and our words must be His truth alone. That’s why God’s Word speaks so much about what we say. When we take a firm stand for the Lord others will share their opinions to recant what we are saying as false. Their words will at times come in the way of insults and that spiritual exercise can really hurt.
1 Peter 4:14 says, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” When God is in your life you will suffer slander at the hands of those who don’t believe and you will be insulted if you are active in your faith. We now bear the name of Jesus and His Name and the lifestyle that follows it will put us in conflict with the world we live in time and time again. It is inevitable. Yet we as believers think we are never going to have to deal with things being said against us because of Christ in our lives. We want just enough of the of the world and just enough of Christ to remain loved by both. The more of Christ you see in your life, the more it exposes and opens your eyes to the lies of the world. Then we’ve got a problem. Deny Christ and shut up, or proclaim Christ and suffer the consequences. The choice can be tough, but God gives us grace and strength for making that choice. In verse 15-18 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
So, if we are going to live for Christ and speak for Christ to the point of making a difference it will at times hurts. That hurt is what the Bible says is “taking up your cross.” That cross may seem heavy at the beginning, but the more you work out the easier it becomes because you are becoming spiritually fit. Now is the time to get in shape and to plan a great workout. You can even call it The Firm. Standing Firm in your Faith. The more you do it the more in shape you will become. If It’s Gonna Help, It’s Gonna Hurt..
The Pilgrimage continues……