For some reason, I have kept putting off Hebrews 11 and 12 ... I finally covered 11 a few days ago but still kept putting off 12 until today ... Easter Sunday.
Check out verses 2 and 3 ... how appropriate to be looking at those today.
This life we go through can be tough ... real tough. Relationship issues that leave us hurt or angry ... financial concerns that bring undertainty and discomfort ... deep-seated anxieties and phobias that just end up being driven by all of the other "stuff" we face ... tragic occurrences we just don't understand ... these things are just the tip of the iceberg. Life is fraught with difficulties and confusion.
And, to top it all off, as Christians, we're called to do more and be more ... grace-filled ... practicing spiritual discipline ... purity ... These things would be impossible without God living in and through us ... He gives us power. Yet "real life" ... all those difficulties ... hearkens to us and can sometimes overpower everything else.
Yet look at Jesus ... He led a sin-free life ... painfully obedient to His father to the very end on this earth ... because He knew that He was moving toward something greater.
We can't be perfect ... that is where God's grace covers us. But we must fight the fight ... and move forward.
Philip Yancey writes that "Repentance, not proper behavior or even holiness, is the doorway to grace. And the opposite of sin is grace, not virtue." That's something to dwell on for awhile.
We're not called to perfection ... but we are called to move ahead ... to fight the good fight because where else would we really want to be after our new life is started ... to bask in God's grace when we do mess up ... to extend His love and grace to all we encounter.
Check out Hebrews 12. See if, on this bright Easter day, it doesn't speak to you and to the condition we're in as humans, as powerfully as anything possibly could. It is a tough world, full of difficulties but also full of lessons and guidance from a loving Father who has a plan for each of us and wants so badly to see us live out that plan. Because of God's grace, we ultimately enjoy an unshakable Kingdom.