Resolute (adjective ) – Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.
When Isaac was a baby, he and I lived with my mom. I cannot remember another time where everything in my life seemed like it was in crisis; health issues, financial issues, personal safety issues, and emotional health issues pervaded our everyday. It was as though I could circle around to take a panoramic view of my life and there was, at every point, something at risk of completely coming apart. It was during that time, I weekly went to see a Christian counselor as I processed through it all. When it seemed to her that I may have been emotionally at my breaking point, she made the suggestion that I get medication to help me during the profoundly rough season. She was an amazing counselor and I knew she wasn’t making that suggestion flippantly. However, I refused her suggestion. I remember telling her that yes, it was hard, but I wanted to be fully awake to everything that was going on and to what God was doing in all of it. I had the tiniest spark of expectancy that God could and would act on my behalf. I didn’t want to miss any of it, both the good and the bad. I wanted to remember every detail. I didn’t want to be numb to it.
Before I go any further, this is not a knock on medication. There are many occasions where this could be necessary and it does not make a person weak in their faith. Please do not read that into this post. My main point is how we, as humans, especially those in developed countries such as ours, we tend to want to numb the pain and discomfort. Especially in years like 2020. And we don’t necessarily use medications to do it. We’ve gotten good at using many things to avoid facing our reality at hand. We use busyness, mindless activities, TV, social media, eating, shopping…whatever brings us a temporary distraction to what is causing us discomfort. These, in and of themselves, aren’t bad things but are we constantly going to these things that are temporary and have no eternal value just to avoid the difficult and the painful things that could effect eternity?
The world does’t need this from the Church. We are the ones who have been equipped with the Truth of God’s Word and with the peace provided by the Holy Spirit to look on all the bad through the lens of faith that God is on His throne and will work all things according to His good purposes. The world needs a resolute church willing to stand tall on the solid rock of Christ and say in confidence “This is my God and this is what He is doing.” When we refuse to numb ourselves from the trials and the pains, we are also able to see with clarity all the visible hand prints of God on several different fronts. Now, of all times in this generation, is not the time to shrink back and hide in an effort to remain as comfortable as we can until the difficult time passes. No, now is the time we look at this mess head on and declare God’s goodness and power in spite of it. The world needs a resolute church with the uncompromising message of truth and hope. One that is willing to remain standing in a world that is falling apart.
If you have been tempted like me by the notion, “Let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die”, let me remind you as well as myself that that isn’t Christian joy. Yes, take time to enjoy the good things. Step back from the news and noise, and give yourself a rest from it. But allow yourself to run to God with it during those times of break and rest…do not run to the “good things” as your refuge. Let’s be resolved to not run to the things, that our flesh wants, to feel secure. There is a place for these things, but we can’t encourage others of God’s goodness and mighty acts if we are hiding from the hard stuff. We can’t speak the Truth in light of current events if our eyes are tightly shut to what is going on all around us. We find that God becomes our source of joy even through the tears and that we remain fixed and steadied even in the turmoil. Let’s resolve to be that church.