Obedience is often uncomfortable

No one has ever done anything extraordinary while staying perfectly comfortable. No one has ever changed or grown that way either.•
If we had a box out of which we could choose the things that happened in our lives we would never choose the ones that were difficult or stretching. We’re geared to avoid pain at all costs.

Faith is uncomfortable, trust is uncomfortable, growth is uncomfortable, following God into your calling is uncomfortable. Loving when it’s hard, giving when it hurts, disciplining ourselves when we’d rather give into our flesh, all uncomfortable.

If we measure everything by whether it feels good to us we won’t get very far. But we walk by faith not feelings.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 #walkingreflections

Ashley JacksonComment
Negative self focus is pride?

When I was walking through some of the darkest days of my depression the Lord continually was repeating to me this verse.

I didn't understand what He could possibly mean? How could someone who hated themselves need to work on considering others better than themselves?

It took me a long time to realize that even negative self focus was still all about me. That even in my self hatred there was a pride that said I should be able to do this, they should be able to save me. I could never take one ounce of responsibility if I demanded it was always someone else's fault.

It wasn't until the Lord would no longer let people come to my rescue that I started to understand. That at the bottom of my great anger and bitterness at people for not behaving the way I wished they would was my true need for Jesus to save me again.

That it was only through giving up my fight of self protection and pointing fingers that the Lord could then address my deepest need. It wasn't until I was out of the way, through this humbling, that the Lord could bring the great joy that comes through His love and the love that overflows for others because of it.

Let's trust Him to lay down the things that have helped us survive for so long but may be holding us captive and trust He is always for us, even when it hurts.

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves" Phil 2:1-3 (*sorry for the typo on the photo's verse☺️)

Ashley Jackson Comment
Push in the unfamiliar miles

I’ve trained for a marathon a couple times and although you run 26.2 miles race day, you generally never train past 20.

To be ready for that day you show up over and over and over again.

You run short runs, you add miles up, you run through good and bad weather, you run when you feel like it and when you don’t.

Your muscles and endurance build and it’s not easy to cover 14, 17, 20 miles in those training runs but you do it and then realize no matter how hard it got, you’ve done it, a sense of confidence is built in what you never knew you were capable of.

Then that day comes when you’ve been faithful and done your training but a new further push is required of you. You’ve listened to advice and read about others but all of that doesn’t matter now. In this moment it’s you and that road before you.

This is like life, like faith, like walking with God. Your consistency with Him has gotten you this far, you’ve let Him train you and discipline you and listened and put your feet to the pavement of faith but then one day He requires the miles you’ve never gone before.

And when you’re there in that race it gets hard, it hurts, you want to stop and sit down, but you’ve come too far for that. So one foot in front of the other you push, you rest and walk, and then you push again because there’s a finish line to get to.

Those miles you’ve never been will be hard, they will require faith and trust in a reality that screams at you otherwise, but they aren’t as impossible as they feel. Press on.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14

Ashley JacksonComment