Hard times now, glory later
Find out what can Christians learn from soldiers, athletes, and farmers.
A soldier, an athlete and a farmer walk into a bar ... do you think they would have much to talk?
- The soldier could ask the athlete for tips on how to run away from his enemies.
- The athlete could ask the farmer how to prepare a good running track.
- The farmer could ask the soldier advice for protecting his property from intruders.
They all seem quite different. A soldier fights, athletes run races, and farmers work the land. So what could they all have in common?
The patient people
What these three different groups share is this: they all endure hard times now, which bring rewards later. Check out 2 Timothy 2:3-6:
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
- A soldier is pushed to the limits in boot camp, and in the battle field, in order to win the battle and come home in one piece.
- An athlete trains, sweating it out for months and years to win the race, competition, medal or trophy.
- A farmer sows and ploughs and waters, in eager anticipation of the next harvest.
The Christian life requires endurance
These are helpful pictures of the Christian life; hard times now, glory later. For this is the normal pattern of the Christian life; hard times now, glory later.
Jesus himself went through this;
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. (2 Timothy 2:8)
And even the Apostle Paul;
... for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:9-10)
So if you are finding the Christian life a bit hard going, you are not alone. It is not necessarily a sign that you are failing as a Christian. It might just be a sign that you are doing the whole Christian life thing right.
So don’t give up or throw in the towel. Hang in there. And remember, like a soldier, athlete, farmer, the Lord Jesus, and the Apostle Paul, we will suffer now, but it will be worth it.