Nobody ever said righteousness was easy. No one ever claimed holiness was a breeze. The pursuit of godliness is probably the hardest thing you will ever attempt. What’s the old saying, “If it were easy, everyone would do it?”
Abraham struggled with honesty, as did his son, Isaac.
Noah got drunk.
David cheated with another man’s wife and then had him killed.
Peter was two-faced, and Paul was the foremost sinner.
It’s hard to do right. You may look at those guys and think, “Hey! I’m better than them!” Maybe. In some ways. But it’s not about us vs. them. It’s about Jesus and how well we mirror his image. That’s the idea, right? We are to be like him. Look at 1st Peter 1:15. Peter says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.‘”
Even preachers struggle. It’s nice to preach about love, hope, heaven, and glory, all sound biblical topics. It’s much harder to talk about sin, repentance, and hell, but those are biblical too and must be a part of any preacher’s repertoire. Why? Because that’s part of living godly. because it’s as much of God’s word as the easy stuff.
Have you ever repaired or installed drywall or sheetrock? Turn out the overhead light and shine a lamp at a sharp angle onto the wall. The slanted light will reveal every flaw in your work. That’s like the Bible. Scripture makes us uncomfortable because it reveals our failings and shortcomings. It is a bright light on our imperfect lives.
“Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” Luke 12:3
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life” Proverbs 6:23
On the other hand, the world calls gently to us, demanding nothing now but taking souls in the life to come. As Jesus said, Satan “is a liar” (John 8:44). His promises are sweet and pleasing to our ears. He tenderly convinces us that we are free to do as we please. His bite comes at the end, and we lose our souls eternally.
Consider Eve. Satan lied to her in Genesis 3:4. Look what happened.
Don’t forget. We are not alone in our pursuit of righteousness and holiness. Jesus walks with us daily – if we let him – and strengthens us in our battles. His power works in us to purify, sanctify, and consecrate us to his service (Philippians 1:6, 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 13:21).
No warrior ever walks alone. He is strengthened by training of those before, the memories of those who have fallen, and the spirit of his comrades. You are not alone. Jesus trains you through his word, has been here before, and walks alongside you today.
My purpose is to tell you not to give up. Do not surrender to your sinful desires. Reject the whispers of failure and inadequacy. Let those times of greatest temptation become times of greatest prayer and humility. Life is so hard. Lean on Jesus!