It’s Hard

It’s hard to surrender control. It’s hard to forgive. It’s hard to release resentment. It’s hard to parent. It’s hard to spend more time praying for something than strategizing for it. 

I get it. It is hard. So very hard. 

It’s also hard to be holy. It’s also hard to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Maybe more accurately – it’s impossible. 

The disciples knew this.
And (the disciples) were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” – Mark 10:26-27

God wants us to depend on him. 

He wants us to depend on him for salvation, for we could never achieve it on our own. He wants us to depend on him for sanctification, for we could never purify ourselves. He wants us to depend on him for obedience, for we could never be righteous by our works.

Our only hope is to depend on him. To trust him to do what he’s promised to do. To let him rescue us from the domain of darkness and transfer us into his kingdom of light [1].

And I think we know that. If we’ve given our lives to Christ, then we’ve come to an understanding that salvation isn’t achieved by our own doing. 

But then walking in faith? Obeying God? Why is it so easy to get tripped up here and become exhausted and discouraged by our best efforts?

Paul reminds us of this in his letter to the Galatians, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” [2]

God still wants us to depend on him. Our only hope is to continue depending on him. To continue trusting him to do what he’s promised to do. To let him rescue us from the weight of our own efforts and free us into the security of his Sovereign hand.

He is the Good Shepherd. He said his job was to take care of us, and he will never go back on his word. 

God is serious and speaks without partiality when he commands that we love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. He alone is God.

So maybe sometimes the hard things in life are actually the things that bring us closer to him, and therefore, are the things that are causing us to obey him, positioning us to love him more. It’s the hard things that increase our awareness of our need for God. That magnify our prayer life. That draw us in. What if the hard things are His purposeful invitation to bring us closer to himself?

This isn’t encouragement to endure harm and live absorbing someone else’s sin. And this is not to dismiss the reality that we live in a fallen world where there is much suffering. But this is a post to encourage that you are not alone in the hard, and God is never evil. 

When you have no words to pray, he’s interceding for you. [3]
When you don’t know what to do, he’s already ahead of you. [4]
When you mess up, he’s already forgiven you. [5]
When you have a burden, he offers to take it. [6]
When you feel like the burden, he promises he does not grow weary. [7]

Right before Jesus told the crowd that all things are possible with God, a moral, rich man had walked away from him, disheartened by the charge to sell everything and follow Jesus. 

Why? Because it’s easy to find comfort in our wealth. It’s easy to find security in our possessions. It’s easy to take control and trust ourselves to act in our best interest.

But the reality of what’s easy and natural to us is that it leads to sin. Which results in death. Yet Christ came to intercede for us here. To intercept us on our path to eternal damnation and instead carry us into his kingdom of eternal life. 

Obedience, sanctification, believing God… it all can be hard. But it should always point us to the cross, to remind us that the work is finished. Praise God that obedience is already credited to us in Christ, and we’ve already been given a new nature. A new identity. A new Help. [8]

Don’t stay discouraged, but keep depending on God. He’s delighted to be your refuge.   


But you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day. – Joshua 23:8

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” – Psalm 16:1

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. 
In the world you will have tribulation. 
But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do  not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16


[1] Colossians 1:13-14
[2] Galatians 3:3
[3] Romans 8:26-30, Hebrews 7:25
[4] Psalm 139:4-5
[5] John 19:30
[6] Matthew 11:28
[7] Isaiah 40:28
[8] Romans 8:1-17

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