Sometimes I don’t feel like going to school or getting up early. Sometimes I don’t feel like helping with chores or doing homework.
I do these things regardless, but rarely because I feel like it. So you can imagine the debate that goes on in my head when I try to do hard things.
The feeling argument goes something like this:
“Why go out of your way when you are comfy where you are?”
“Anything could happen to you; you’re risking your reputation!”“
“Worry about yourself. Don’t get involved in the issues of the world.”
When it comes to doing hard things, feelings can be one of our worst enemies. As a part of the flesh, they are contrary to the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Our Spirit wants to do hard things, but our emotions are often a barrier. Every action starts as a thought, so we need to get our feelings in check when they get in the way of doing hard things for God.
Do Hard Things To Grow
Becoming more and more like Christ should be a priority when doing hard things (Colossians 2:7). Loving our enemies, sharing the gospel, and reading his Word, are all part of the challenges of following Jesus.
As we continue to grow in our faith, any apathy we have toward these trials start to be replaced with joy. We understand that the difficulty we experience trying to obey God’s commands will mature us (James 1:2-3).
Do Hard Things To Witness
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:14-15)
Our world is in desperate need of God. I’m sure you all know someone close to you who isn’t saved. They don’t know about the eternal life Jesus has offered them. So giving glory to God through hard things shouldn’t be a drag, but an opportunity to share his light with everyone (Matthew 5:16).
Do Hard Things Through the Spirit
Strength to complete tough tasks doesn’t only come from self-motivation or caffeinated energy, but rather from the Spirit of God who lives in us, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Jesus promised us a helper to live within us (John 14:16-17). He produces fruit in us (Galatians 5:23) and gives us gifts to help us do hard things (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8).
In our weakness, the Spirit gives us strength. We need to remember that we are more than conquerors through Jesus, and that no problems, hardships, circumstance or feelings can separate us from God (Romans 8:37-39). When something seems too tough to do on your own, look to the Spirit who lives inside you for strength.
The Holy Spirit is more powerful than our feelings, so continual prayer before going into hard things will focus our attention on allowing God to work through us, because, “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
The world tells us, “Go with your gut, do whatever you feel.” While emotions are a wonderful way to express ourselves, I doubt many hard things would be done through our feelings alone. We have a lifetime of growing to do and days of encounters with non Christians ahead of us. But we have strength in the Spirit to guide us in these times.
We have an advantage as young people. Getting our feelings in check now means we’ll be ready when life throws us lemons we don’t feel like making lemonade out of. Approaching hard things with purpose, and with the Spirit by your side can lead to everlasting joy, peace, and hope.