Before Jesus left his disciples he warned them about the world, “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33. Jesus did not live for himself but for the glory of God, and when he thus live for God’s glory he met with many troubles and finally was killed (though he rose again on the third day). He called every person to follow him for he alone was the way to the father. If Jesus experienced trouble in the world everyone will also face challenges in the world. Trouble does not only come to those who break the law of the land or those who do wrong things. As long as we are trying to live for the glory of God, that means as long as we try to live our purposes out, the way God had created us to live, we will face trouble. I saw a clip on youtube by Rocky Balboa that sends this message in modern terms.
by Rocky Balboa
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!
We all long for rest and refreshment. That’s a God-given longing that he promises to fulfill: “I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (Jeremiah 31:25).
And in a very real way Jesus gives rest to “all who labor and are heavy laden” and come to him (Matthew 11:28). But in this age, it is not the complete rest.
In this age, Jesus grants us the gospel rest of ceasing the impossible labor of self-atonement for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). But in embracing the gospel we find ourselves also drafted into a war — a war to keep believing the gospel and a war to spread it to others. In this age we “strive to enter that [complete] rest” of the age to come (Hebrews 4:11).
And wars are exhausting — especially long ones. That’s why you are often tired. Most soldiers who experience the fierceness of combat want to get out of it. That’s why you feel urges to escape or surrender. That’s why there are times you’re tempted to give up.
But don’t give up. No, rather “take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).
Don’t give up when that familiar sin, still crouching at your door after all these years, pounces again with temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Don’t give up when you feel that deep soul weariness from long battles with persistent weaknesses.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:8–9).
Don’t give up when your long prayed-for prayers have not yet been answered.
And he told them [the parable of the persistent widow] to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1).
Don’t give up when the devil’s fiery darts of doubt land and make you reel.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:13,16).
Do not give up when the fragmenting effect of multiple pressures seems relentless.
But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger . . . (2 Corinthians 6:4–5).
Do not give up when the field the Lord has assigned you to is hard and the harvest does not look promising:
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Do not give up when you labor in obscurity and you wonder how much it even matters.
Your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:4).
Do not give up when your reputation is damaged because you are trying to be faithful to Jesus.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matthew 5:11).
Do not give up when waiting on God seems endless.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30–31)
Don’t give up when you have failed in sin. Don’t wallow. Repent (again), get your eyes off yourself and back on Jesus, get up and get back in the fight.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9); if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13).
“Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know…”
My penance piety does not suffice
As the fray takes toll upon my mortal
As the dagger slices and dices
The fort crumbles…
Hope and pray I be reborn
To dive into the fray one other
To face demons whose fire I stoke
That my soul for peace to have
My heart for ants to feed
Yet death hath become this life I boast
All good fights have come to this
The moment on which I stand
The weapon upon my hand
Broken sheath under my feet
On this day I am born
On this day I die
I must hope and pray
That one day I learn to hope and pray
Eyes gaze beyond the clouds
For an omen I might see
This fort mine blessing and curse.
Immortality it might be
The bright light that cometh my way
Into the last good night I’ll ever see.
“…Live and die on this day
Live and Die on this day.” [Inspired from the movie Grey]
What a beautiful poem, the struggle of mankind to be emancipated into who they truly are,…i hope too that one day i would learn to hope and pray, to live and die on this day. What a picture of Jesus Christ, his way of liberating the soul of others was through dearth, a total contrast to the thinking of modern mankind, we continue to deny the basic reality of life, a seed first needs to die before it can come to life[John 12:24]…live and die on this day. I will end with the words of our late Dr Martin Luther King Jr, “…If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”