Why We Should Resist Beginnings And Remain Faithful To God
How do we remain faithful to God when our world is constantly telling us to look for something new? Rebecca Hughes explains.
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I read those two words in a book last week and I stopped short. It was the little book, Follow the Lamb that the poet, Horatius Bonar, wrote sometime in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. Back when the world was on a quest for radical change.
I think about these words now, when the world is again striving for radical advancement. A world that is full of proud, arrogant, heartless, and reckless people who are lovers of self, seeking individual freedom.
It is old advice and I’m not sure if that opinion would gain much popularity today.
We love beginnings. We love to start new things. We want the next thing. We want it to be better, bigger. Beginnings are exciting and excitement is contagious. We think it is brave to begin. We think is it brilliant to begin. We want to build our Tower of Babel to reach the heavens.
We grow weary of the ordinary, day in and day out, modest routines of our lives and we want something brighter, more enticing, more thrilling.
We are willing to invest time, energy and resources into anything that will make life more captivating, more meaningful, more enticing.
But, in reaching for the next new thing, have we traded in something more valuable.
What if we were a people who shrewdly resist beginnings and simply remain faithful?
Cravings For New Beginnings
There is a way to move forward and progress has been good . . . in part. History has been a march of progress. But, it has cost us.
A wise man once said, there is nothing new under the sun, but we keep looking for something new. And then we are surprised when history repeats itself.
No new thing, no matter how great, is going to bring greater happiness. The created can’t bring eternal joy.
Change is necessary. Time and time again we need to make an about face and turn back and head in the right direction. Revolution means “a turn around”. Repentance means to have a change of mind and to turn from sin and return to God.
But, do we get so carried away with our cravings for new beginnings, we neglect to stay steadfast in the middle of the story?
Why We Should Remain Faithful
Can’t you see it spread all over our lives? In our diets, our health kicks, our new year’s resolutions, our churches, our relationships, our politics, our social media. We are stuffing ourselves on beginnings and failing to thrive to the end.
How many things have we begun that now hang limp or are tucked away or have been destroyed by the lust of a new beginning?
Remaining faithful lacks the flare that a beginning delivers, but it is the soil where roots grow deep, grace is poured out, faith is strengthened, and where love will flourish.
God had a plan before time began, before creation. Before the foundation of the world: God knew, God purposed, God loved us, God chose us.
God, who has no beginning, set all things in place. God, who has no end, sees that all things will happen according to His plan. God, who remains faithful, set His plan in motion and will bring is to pass to the praise of His glory.
God doesn’t need men and women to dream up exciting beginnings. He wants us to remain faithful. To continue, to press on, to persevere.
How To Remain Faithful To God
Straight after Paul told Timothy to “Fight the good fight of the faith”, he urged him to “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called . . .” (1 Timothy 6:12)
With our eyes fixed on the eternal, strength and courage come so we can rise above the struggles of this world. Hold tightly to the prize of eternal life: that is how you will remain faithful in this life to which you were called.
We need to remain faithful in the unseen things.
Splashy beginnings draw much excitement at the outset, but these embers burn out. It is the steady stoking of the fire that keeps the blaze burning.
Remaining faithful may never be popular. This world will go on looking or bigger and better beginnings to draw crowds, to reach new heights, to make progress, to go beyond our dreams, to find happiness and health and wisdom, and discover the unknown.
Remaining faithful may never be comfortable. This world looks out for self. It tells us, if it doesn’t feel good, get out, give up, do whatever you need to find your own self. Well, referring back to the little book I read last week, Bonar wrote: “Denying self is the beginning, the middle, and the end of our course here, as followers of Christ.”
Remaining faithful may never be easy. It is a fight. A fight that needs determination, endurance, and every ounce of perseverance a soul could hope for.
Resist Beginnings, Remain Faithful
And that is exactly what we have. Hope. Eternal hope.
We have been made to know God. We have been made to be in communion with God. Since the fall we have fallen short of His glory. God had a plan before creation to climb down into the world He spoke into existence to redeem us back to Himself.
He has not left us alone. He has remained faithful.
He has loved us and given us hope for a future.
With a hope like that, we can say, quiet down, soul.
Rebekah Hughes survived a rare childhood cancer that left her with only one functioning lung, but the aggressive treatment she received to kill the cancer, severely damaged her heart. She shares her insights to encourage us as we walk the path God calls us to, whether in calm or in crisis. Rebekah produces Take Heart and Cut to the Heart for HopeStreamRadio. In her program she reflects on spiritual lessons from her observations of life, to encourage and strengthen us in our faith.
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