Acts 14:21b-22 NIV
22 Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,”
The word(s) “must”, “go through”, and “hardships” are word(s) that we do not enjoy hearing! If anything, I like to think Paul is saying sometimes I will go through hardships, but Paul is declaring that we must go through hardships! Paul and Barnabas knew the journey for the new believers was not going to be easy and they were going to be persecuted for their faith. James talks about having a holy perspective on hardships. James states to have pure joy during the hardship and the hardship will produce perseverance.
1. Are we willing to do hard things for God’s kingdom? 2. What areas of comfort are you needing to give up? 3. Can you see the growth once the hardship is over? I would challenge you to ask God where you are comfortable and some areas that you need to challenge yourself. I would jot these things down and come back to see how much you have changed.
Lord, thank you for your word and how it changes our heart, mind, and soul! This year we are praying that you will push us to do hard things and we trust in your strength during those hard times! I pray we become stronger in our faith. Lord, I pray for those who are currently going through hard times and let us cling to James 1:2, “to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds…”. Continue to use us in a mighty way! We love you and praise you! Amen.