Journal Entry // March 2, 2022
Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.Exodus 23:30 ESV
There is something good and precious about the adversity and struggle that remains a part of my life. I hate it to be honest. I don’t like the continued trials and heartache and hardships that accompany me along this journey of faith. But these adversities are a blessing to me in my sojourning. For in them I get to not only see the hand of God moving in my life but these struggles and trials keep me humble and push me back to the comforting hand of Jesus. Little by little the Lord is conforming me to the image of Christ.
This passage is yet another example of God allowing struggle in our life for our own protection and good. When God promised to deliver the Israelites into the promised land, he specifically told them that it would be a slow, little by little process. Not because he couldn’t just instantly provide, but because the Israelites needed time to mature in the land of inheritance. They needed time to fight the battles and truly struggle against their enemies to posess the land.
I think back in my life on things I was given without any sort of personal investment on my part. I didn’t really value or take care of them as I normally would because they were just given without any cost to me. But those things I was given and then had an opportunity to personally invest in, those are the things I held onto as precious. This is the story of the Israelites taking possession of the promised land. A story of fighting for what has been promised. God has given them this good land, now they have to go out in faith and possess the land.
This is true in my life as well. Could God deliver me from all of the struggle with my sin? Absolutely. But there is value in the struggle with sin. There is value in fighting the good fight and depending on the Lord to drive out these enemies from my heart little by little. This constant battle with sin is so very tiring. It feels as though it will never end, which is a lie. It feels as though I am constantly failing, which is another lie.
The Spirit dwells within me. Christ himself is interceding for me. The Father is my strong tower. The one true God of all creation is with me. He is leading and guiding and strengthening me in this life filled with adversity. His promise to me is simply, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He will bring me safely home through this long sojourning.
What’s the lesson here? The same as always… Patience. Humility. Faithfulness. I don’t need to rush through the struggles. I need to embrace them. I don’t need to despair in the continual heartache. I need to rejoice in the Lord. Again I say, rejoice. The adversity of the moment is not a sign that God has abandoned me. Quite the opposite. It’s because the Father loves me that he disciplines me. That he uses adversity to humble me and teaches me to trust him over and above all things. To think less often of myself and more about Jesus. To love Jesus with all my heart, soul mind, and strength.