Photos by Bruce and Cody Haines
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3)
Jesus once asked His disciples a hard question, after others turned back and stopped walking with Him.
66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” (John 6) I just love Jesus’ candidness. He is so transparent. Peter is pretty transparent and candid, to0, as he responds. (John 6)
68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
To whom shall we go? Indeed, when we too, like Peter, have come to know Jesus for who He really is. When we have tasted of God’s Grace and Goodness, His love and faithfulness, where would we ever go, when Life gets rough? Life isn’t an easy path to trod. I can’t tell you how many times I have just wanted to go home and be with Jesus, rather than continue on this difficult path. There is lots of joy, yes, but when it’s hard, it’s just plain hard. Paul experienced these same feelings and expressed them to the Philippian Believers.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith. (Philippians 1)
Continue means: to remain, abide; in reference to place, to sojourn, tarry, not to depart, to continue to be present, to be held, kept, continually, to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure, to survive, live. to remain as one, not to become another or different, to wait for, await one.
This is the same Greek word that Jesus used in John 15 when He called us to Abide in Him. I do not believe that Paul was suicidal to express a desire to go home, neither am I, though I do deal with bouts of depression occasionally. I think all people feel this way at times, especially when life gets difficult to live through. We’ve all had those times. People can be cruel, unkind. Life can feel so random, unsteady, unpredictable. Our loved ones die. We develop cancer, or other wasting diseases. There are accidents, Market crashes, Economic downturns, job losses, wars and rumors of war, senseless shootings at schools, etc. All of these things, and more, can make us despair, lose hope, give up. But God asks us to continue on for the sake of those who do not know Him yet. I am convinced, through my own experience with God, that if people really knew Him, they’d never turn back from following Him. We are here as lights in a world looking for hope and light. We are lamps lighting the way to Jesus. He is the Way out, the way up, the way through. I have come to know Him, as Peter did, and I speak to you today Peter’s words: “Where would we go, Lord. You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
Dear Precious Ones, reading this post, God’s love for you knows no bounds. Whatever you are going through, He knows, He cares, and He will be with you if you ask Him to. If you know God, lean deeper, pull closer to Him. If you don’t, let Him introduce Himself to you today. Start reading the Gospel of John. I pray You will see Him as He truly is and come to walk with Him. There are those of us who have come to find that no matter what life throws at us, our joy is found in Continuing to walk with Him. Have a Blessed Day!