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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, September 05 2019

Christian living: Ordeal or adventure?

The writer compares the conquest of Mount Everest in 1953 to the struggles and victories of the Christian life.

Christian living: Ordeal or adventure?
A Christian faces life's difficulties with the determination of a climber.

Until 1953 no human being was on record as having set foot on the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain towering above at 29,028 feet.

Needless to say, the successful climb was a real challenge, requiring extensive training and preparation. The climbers battled danger and encroaching discouragement, causing them at one point to consider turning back. But they stayed true to their goal and in May of 1953, climbers Hillary and Norgay finally realised their dream.

There are also adventures and challenges when following the Christian way of life which should be faced with optimism and determination. At times it may seem there is little in some situations that can be viewed as positive, but the apostle James encourages us to look at our circumstances from a different perspective and as a positive step in our continuing Christian adventure. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2).

It is true that Christians are locked in a mighty struggle: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). We stand as a small army against great odds. The wrong influences of the world are everywhere, and we must battle against them as well as our own human nature. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, knew that and cautions us in Luke 14:28 to count the cost of living His way.

The apostle Paul’s Christian life was one of hardship but he did not give up and rejoiced in his calling. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 he enumerates some of his experiences: “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-beside the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.”

In spite of the trials we are sure to endure, we are told we can look forward to the exhilaration of victory at the end of our successful struggle, and God reminds us to be confident of our ultimate triumph with His help: “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

No adventure is greater than the life of a Christian.

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