Beware the Backward Glance
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
Alan Redpath wrote, “The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime.”
That process is called sanctification. Salvation is instantaneous, but sanctification, becoming more like Christ, takes a lot of time. In fact, it takes a lifetime.
hardships of our lives are like God’s gym. We break down the muscle to build it up. James said, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is
tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (1:2–3 NLT).
I don’t like to exercise, but I put up with it because it produces something that’s important. It’s the same with
hardships and trials. We don’t necessarily like them. In fact, the Bible says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained
in this way” (Hebrews 12:11 NLT).
Often, however, we complain. That’s what the Israelites did in the wilderness. It had been one month since God delivered them from Egypt, which was something
they’d been praying about for a long time.
But they said, “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt. . . . There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But
now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death” (Exodus 16:3 NLT).
The Devil is cunning. He will bring back certain memories from our past before we were Christians, but they’re
never the miserable memories.
However, Jesus said, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NLT).
The first step to going back is looking back.