Hard Times Reveal Our Heart | World Challenge

Hard Times Reveal Our Heart

Gary WilkersonMarch 9, 2020

Consider what “normal” Christianity looks like today in the typical believer. This person is a bit self-seeking, a little materialistic, somewhat consumerist. Most of his daily choices are about improving his life. That includes his spiritual pursuits; from his church groups to the podcasts he downloads to the seminars he attends.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. Our Lord wants our lives to be blessed. But for some Christians these are nothing more than worldly pursuits. They’re about self-improvement, not the kingdom of God. And they can drain a believer of true gospel power.

Whatever happened to a life of total surrender to Jesus? What happened to being willing to lay down our lives for the gospel’s sake? Paul said of his own testimony, “My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). If we aren’t living a life empowered by God, we can’t blame the Lord. It isn’t because his grace lacks power. The problem is with us.

It is vital that the hearts of Christians be truly prepared to deal with hard things in life. Paul said, “Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless … not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Paul is speaking here of dedicated churchgoers but describes them as having only a form of godliness. He says further that these Christians were “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (3:7). When Paul said in verse one that times of difficulty would come in the last days, he makes it clear that “normal” Christianity won’t be sustainable. Hard times reveal the condition of our hearts and God wants us to be filled with Holy Spirit power.

Are you hearing God’s Word preached but not walking out what you hear? If you want to see his power released in your life anew today, determine in your heart that you are going to pursue God with intensity and follow him with total dedication. 

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