We wouldn’t want to go too long without water to quench our thirst. Why would we want to go too long without the presence of God’s Living Water, Jesus Christ? Like water from the tap, it energizes us, tastes good, refreshes, and keeps us healthy. In other words, it (He) gives us life abundantly. What a gift!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Predictions are for a dry summer. Drought is always hard on the wildlife. With creeks drying up, animals seek their moisture in backyard fountains. Bears scrounge for other food when wild berries produce little food value. Some trees become distressed for lack of moisture.
Nature is hard on humans, too. Farmers suffer from drought in some areas, while in others people face heavy rains that bring disaster. Resulting price increases affect all of us.
So many trials. We all face them in one form or another. But the Bible speaks of another type of tribulation, the kind we can expect if we are Christians. Not only can we expect it, but it is required. Paul and Barnabas, on their missionary journey to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, preached the gospel, “Exhorting them [new believers] to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’” (Acts 14:22)
What? Christians can’t enter God’s kingdom unless they go through trials and tribulations? How seldom we hear this hard saying! But the Bible says if we obey Him, we will be blessed; if not, we will be cursed. By His very nature of holiness, He cannot lay down conditions upon which to bless us and then ignore them and bless us if we don’t meet those conditions.
It’s one thing to face such trials as sickness, death of a loved one, divorce—or drought and other natural disasters. It’s another to go through hardships because of our faith in Christ. After all, we live in a hostile world, a world that rejects the Word of God and brings adversity to those who embrace it.
Our suffering may seem like we’re living in a drought. Our spirits may be thirsty for encouragement and strength that can come from close fellowship with other sufferers, and especially from God’s Word and presence. When we partake of His “living water” (see John 7:38), we will find joy in our suffering, as Paul and Barnabas did.
If we are true to Christ and faithful to our calling as His disciples, we will face trials and suffering. We are given the daily choice to follow Him and obey His Word, knowing we’ll be persecuted, or to go along with society’s demands believing it won’t matter as long as we attend church weekly, pray generic prayers and give something to the poor.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)
Lord, thank You for Your thirst-quenching Word as we learn to thrive in Your kingdom. May we be faithful to You no matter what the consequences. In Jesus’ name, amen.