Robert knows that living for God may be difficult, but it is not joyless. He is inspired by Paul, who wrote his joyful letter to Philippians, while imprisoned in Rome.
Paul wrote of his own struggle: “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being, I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me” (Rom. 7: 22–23).
Jesus spoke to His followers about taking up a cross, counting the cost, and giving up everything (Luke 14:25-33). “The way is hard that leads to life,” Jesus said (Matt. 7:14). To obey God is to look outside ourselves for our purpose, values, and decisions. God knows how to guide our steps, better than we do. And He has revealed His ways and purposes for our life in Christ Jesus and in His Word.
While growing in Christ, Robert has learnt to expect failures and not be surprised because God certainly isn’t. Peter denied, three times, that he knew Jesus (Luke 22:34). We, too, can deal with failure like Peter did, by repenting. When we sin and stop obeying, we can obey by repenting. Repentance, the proper response to our failure, can result in more growth, love, responsibility and fulfilment. Peter became one of the most powerful preachers of all time. Repentance is a change of direction; a movement away from the destructive path back toward God’s ways. Repentance requires a great deal of humility because it involves admitting we are wrong. In repentance, our eyes are opened to our own sin, failure, and weakness, especially as compared with God’s nature, and we gladly change our ways to better follow God’s paths. Let us strive to joyfully obey purposes of our loving heavenly Father.