Have you felt knocked around lately?
When I was a child, I loved those inflatable punching toys. Each one was decorated with a clown face and stood about 2 ½ feet high. The bottom was weighted. I could punch it, and it would rock, but it always bounced right back to the upright starting position. No matter how hard I hit, its grinning face bounced right back up. The weight at the bottom grounded and stabilized it.
As a Christian in this world, I sometimes feel like that punching toy. I get knocked around spiritually, and I wonder – how can I maintain a Christian life, a godly attitude, a righteous lifestyle in a world that has turned its back on God? How can I live a stable Christian life?
On some days it seems impossible.
Yet as I read through scripture, I find many, many examples of people who did just that (ours is not the first generation to face a world gone awry). These people were not perfect, and the Bible does not present them as such, but they were people chasing God, seeking His way, and their lives reflected this.
Abraham – called out of a heathen culture to be the father of a nation for God
Joseph – slave, servant, prisoner, ruler in Egypt
Moses – reared in Egypt to become the leader of God’s obstinate people
Elijah – called to a spiritual battle against one of the most wicked queens in history
Esther – married to a heathen monarch
David – shepherd boy called to the throne of Israel; chased and threatened by kings and nations
Daniel – faithful servant of God as he served tyrant kings
Paul – missionary to the first century pagan cultures across the middle east
Each of these heroes of the faith maintained their faith in God though presented with what seemed like insurmountable challenges and hurts. Yet they are only of few who demonstrate that God is able to keep and use those who commit their lives to Him – no matter the circumstances of life that they face.
What is the secret though? How did these men and women manage?
How can I manage a consistent and fruitful Christian life?
I believe David nailed the secret in Psalm 16.
“I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand I SHALL NOT BE MOVED.” (emphasis mine) Psalm 16:8
How can I stay faithful in an unfaithful world? How can I bounce back time and again when the punches come?
Keep my eyes – my heart focus – on Jesus. ALWAYS!
He is my strength. He is my fortress. He is my Redeemer!
He is the weight, the grounding force that stands me back up no matter what the world throws at me. And just like the punching toy always came back up grinning, verse nine of Psalm 16 says
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.”
He stands me back up with joy and perseverance to face another day.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Photo – Rooted and Grounded, Beth Mims