As we begin 2018, I want to suggest that Christians should consider their toughness. Are Christians in America softer and less tough than former generations? Many Christians have lost their convictions. We are soft in that we don’t have time for the spiritual disciplines of our fore-fathers. We are too busy to pray, read our Bibles, and attend church. Other spiritual disciplines like fasting and sacrificial giving are radical and not even considered by many. We are afraid of evangelistic work because it might offend others. We are careful who we share our moral convictions with being sure they share our beliefs. Christian service projects, that require lots of time and money, are not considered. We give in to the world’s standards regarding dress, sexuality, entertainment, and language because we wish to avoid being different. We are soft.
As we begin 2018, the Lord may be asking us the same question he asked Jeremiah when he was complaining about the wicked prospering.
“If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall in on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?” (Jer. 12:5).
God is saying to Jeremiah that the toughest tests are yet to come. If you are faltering while it is easy, then what are you going to do when the going gets tough? I don’t know what 2018 holds for you, I am not a prophet, but I believe our culture is going to continue to oppose authentic Christianity. Christians are going to be challenged with their convictions. Christians are going to suffer, face hardships, and even be persecuted. Christians must choose to toughen up in their faith. If we are faltering while it is easy, what will we do when it gets tough. What will we do if the economy tanks? What will we do if there is a national war? What will we do if our families continue to get more fractured and morally in chaos? If we are faltering now, how will we raise our kids when it is tougher?
Let me encourage you to look at your toughness. Are you soft? Have you forgotten our Lord died on a cross? You are called to bear your cross! You are called to sacrifice. Let’s put away the softness in our lives and return to discipline and sacrifice for Jesus. We may then be ready when the going gets tough!