A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.
— John 13:34
Winston Churchill is credited with the famed quote:
“If you’re going through hell keep going.”
In times of adversity, that’s good advice. Biblical, actually. When life starts throwing curve balls, the best thing to do is the thing men and women of extraordinary faith have always done: keep going, keep moving forward.
Addressing the Church (that’s you and me), the apostle Paul offered his wise counsel for navigating difficult times, no matter the nature or source of the situation, writing:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 3:13–14
The wise reader will note there are no illusions in Paul’s words. No claims to have everything figured out or expectations that, as a follower of Jesus, his commitment to a walk of faith would be trouble-free. In fact, his words assume the opposite will be true. Don’t miss that.
There will always be something or someone in your faith journey that would rain on your parade, and often the rainmaker is someone held close. Your spouse, perhaps. It may be that you find a time when you are at odds with your church or your pastor. It happens. But before jumping to an unwise conclusion and rushing to judgment concerning that person or group, you may want to consider the strong possibility that you are the one seeding the clouds.
Listen, it is pretty much guaranteed that we won’t make it through life without there being a few wrinkles in the fabric, a hiccup or two. But we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, do we? No, of course not. As followers of Jesus, we heed wise advice and keep going in the counsel of scripture, faithful and loving towards one another, knowing that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), remaining confident and assured that “our God who began a good work in us will finish what he started.” (Philippians 1:6)
Has his work in your life begun? Do you need him to get started?