“Take your share of hardship like a good solider of Christ Jesus.  A soldier on active service will not let himself be involved in civilian affairs; he must be wholly at his commanding officer’s disposal.”  New English Bible ~ 2 Timothy 3:3-5


Hardship is something we all like to avoid, Christian or not. We are all looking for the place in our lives of comfort and ease.  However, to have this place, naturally, in this world is just not possible. We might find moments but nothing lasts.   The ONLY place there is absolute comfort and joy, peace and rest, is in Jesus.  My yoke is easy, my burden is light, come to me and you will find rest for your souls.  He leads by green pastures and quiet waters that restore our soul.  He who waits on the Lord is renewed with times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord.  


Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have tribulation.”  The troubles of life, naturally, will always be with us.  Spiritually, as we join with Christ, we meet opposition aimed at separating us from the Father and His word. 


A man going to battle knows he will not be experiencing the comforts of home.  He has a different mindset.  He must be hardened to difficulties (Isaiah 41:10).  What does this mean?  Every solider is trained to do what he doesn’t want to do, to go further than he feels he can and to remain under authority in adverse circumstances.  If we are hardened to difficulty, the circumstances of life are not shaping us.  They are not directing us.  They are faced, challenged and overcome.   Jesus promises that he that endures to the end shall be saved. If we faint not, if we don’t give up, if we don’t lose heart, we are promised to reap in due season.   


We live in days where lawlessness abounds, the love of many grows cold, men love pleasure rather than God, in the church!  If we take our cues from “others” we fall into the deception that these things are not “to bad”.  Yet we know it just takes “a little” leaven to leaven the whole lump.  The natural man is looking and seeking the place of ease.  Where the natural man finds that acceptable, he will indulge it. 


If we walk after the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  A solider on active service will not let himself be involved in civilian affairs.  What takes us away from His presence and our daily feeding upon him, weakens us.  He is the author and giver of life.  We must have ears that hear, wholly at our commanding officers disposal.  He leads us into paths of righteousness for His name sake.  These paths hold His life and blessing, which is not the same thing as saying they are flat and smooth roads, but as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we are learning how to march on rocky and rough paths.