Speaking Of Life 1046 | Endurance > Ease
For the past couple years, the instant pot has topped the list as the most sought after gift and gotta have gadget. The product guarantees a fast and flavorful meal by just pressing a couple of buttons; set it and forget it! The promise of convenience and instant gratification with little effort is a value that is quickly permeating our culture. With the rise of smartphones, search engines, and artificial intelligence recommendations on Amazon we are used to getting what we want in a quick and easy manner.
The idea of having all we could need or desire with the touch of a few buttons may seem like a no brainer. However, research is beginning to show that our instant gratification culture is beginning to rewire our brains and undermine essential structures of everyday life. The dependence on convenience and personal preferences is causing: a struggle to make lasting commitments, weakened empathy, and heightened anxiety. There is concern that although technology virtually connects us to millions of other people we are becoming a lonely society longing for more meaningful connections.
The apostle Paul understood the longing for connection and ease in life. He wrote II Timothy while imprisoned in a dungeon filled with concern for his fellow believers who are experiencing persecution. His advice is not to find the easiest solution or escape from hardship, but to endure. Paul knows that God does not work within our timeframes or processes, but is always working for our good. He charges Timothy to place his hope in Jesus and to persevere. Paul finds comfort in Christ’s character, and encourages Timothy:
…If we were joined with him in his death, then we are joined with him in his life! If we are joined with him in his sufferings, then we will reign together with him in his triumph. But if we disregard him, then he will also disregard us. But even if we are faithless, he will still be full of faith, for he never wavers in his faithfulness to us! (II Timothy 2:11-13 TPT)
Paul knows that our God is faithful, constant, and reliable. Our God who is the very definition of love, is relentlessly initiating and sustaining relationship with us; even when we are looking for a quick and easy way to satisfy our desires. He poured out his love through the Holy Sprit giving us the power to press through. We can endure difficult times, knowing that perseverance produces character, and character, hope!
When you enter a difficult season do not panic and look for the easiest way out. Ask him to lead you forward, and take heart that joined with Jesus in his death and suffering, we are also resurrected with him into new life!
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.