“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7)
The lessons are not very fun at Hard Knocks University.
The preferred method of instruction is often the hard way. It can be quite painful, and is usually caused by a myriad of mistakes (most of which could have been avoided if prior advice had been heeded).
While it is wonderful when a child dedicates their life to the Lord, it is very rare that an adult comes to believe in Jesus without having first attended many lengthy lectures in the halls of Hard Knocks U.
As a good friend of mine used to say, “There is no lesson a good butt-whoopin’ won’t teach.”
I would like to tell you: “Congratulations! You’ve graduated from HKU; here’s your diploma. School is now out of session!”
But we both know that’s not true.
You will have to continue learning how to make lemonade – with fewer and fewer lemons – because that’s just the nature of life.
But the good news is that you will not have to do it alone: He’s not called the Savior for nothing.
As you continue to live your life in Jesus and build up your faith (which, unfortunately, requires many setbacks and unexpected dilemmas), God will fashion you into an unstoppable force of goodness, love, and mercy – the likes of which you can barely begin to comprehend.
It may be difficult to believe at the moment, but all of those knocks, all of that suffering, is making you stronger.
It’s like medicine from the 18th century: bitter, yet effective (mostly).
Never lose hope, and always be faithful in prayer.
There’s a method to the madness.
As you endure difficulties and continue to lean on the Lord, your faith will strengthen.
The strengthening of your faith moves you toward perfection. (Heb. 6:1)
Anything in the direction of perfection is a win, for Christ commands it to be your ultimate aim: “Be perfect, as the Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)
In time, you will be.