I have heard it said that life is all about problem-solving. For example, do I get out of bed now, or do I hit the snooze button again? Do I buy a coffee on my way to work, or do I drink the stuff my company calls coffee? Should I plan a night in or a community theater play and a unique restaurant for our wedding anniversary?
Minute by minute, we make decisions. Some are easy decisions like buying a cup of coffee, some are difficult – do I undergo radiation treatments or have my prostate removed, and some are heartwrenching – is it time to take the car keys away from my dad? Decisions fill our days and weave their way through our dreams at night.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a very personal concern with a friend. He replied, “Which do you want? Worry or grief!? You can worry every day, try each day to keep the thing you fear from happening, and still end up crushed by grief, or you can give your concern to Jesus each day, do reasonable actions that are not driven by fear, and if you suffer that loss, then you grieve and deal with it.” He was right. Worry is worthless; it gains nothing.
The path we walk to follow Jesus is not easy, but it is the right one. I’ve learned that few things in life are easy and right. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not” –2 Corinthians 11:23–25 ESV – Are they servants of Christ? I am a – Bible Gateway
God’s Love Helps Us in Our Decisions
Our decision to follow Christ Jesus may lead us into problems, problems that carry high emotional, physical, or financial costs – like letting go of a dying parent. God may lead into dangers, like the storm the apostles experienced on the sea of Galilee1. And we may experience rejection that hinders our careers, the harmony in our families, or the duties we fulfill in our local churches. Still, we know that there is no consequence we will ever experience from following Jesus that comes close to the repercussions Jesus experienced by choosing to love us.
The bystanders at the cross yelled, “Save yourself 2.” “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.3” Jesus suffered beatings, ridicule, and the shame of death on a cross because He loves us. He has made our decision to follow Him easy because He gave so much more to us than we can ever give to Him, even if we lived a thousand lifetimes.
Oh, about making decisions. My wife and I have a rule we follow when shopping. If a salesperson wants us to make an immediate decision, then our decision is “no.” For example, no, we’re not going to buy that timeshare today. All decisions cause a history. We must ask ourselves if our decision will stand the test of time. Will it still be a right, Godly decision when we look back at it five or ten years later? Decisions all come down to this: Will our decision please Jesus when we stand before Him and give an account of what we did with the life He gave us 4?
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: “Matthew 14:22–33 ESV – Jesus Walks on the Water – Immediately – Bible Gateway”
]: “Romans 5:8 NIV – But God demonstrates his own love for – Bible Gateway”
: “2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV – For we must all appear before the – Bible Gateway”