Crossing the Faith Frontier Requires RESOLVE
On God’s trail, there is amazing reward and joy ahead that dwarfs any difficulty you will experience.
Pioneers along the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s faced temptation to turn back, often on a daily basis. One settler wrote to a Missouri newspaper during his journey,
To enjoy such a trip … a man must be able to endure heat like a salamander, mud and water like a muskrat, dust like a toad, and labor like a donkey. He must learn to eat with his unwashed fingers, drink out of the same vessel as his mules, sleep on the ground when it rains, and share his blanket with vermin, and have patience with mosquitoes…. It is hardship without glory.
To make it through all of his trials, that man must have had a strong picture of the future that was animating his steps. He really believed his future gold claim or frontier farm would be worth all of this effort!
So what of our faith journey? Is it worth the sacrifice, the daily steps, the required disciplines, the mountains and valleys? Is it worth the storms we know thunder ahead, or the dangers lurking in the shadows? Wouldn’t it be easier to turn back east, where life is comfortable and predictable? To let others cut the trail and be the early adopters of the faith lifestyle? Couldn’t we just follow Jesus on well-traversed highways, rather than mountain passes?
Crossing the faith frontier requires that we cultivate the same attitude as Paul, when he wrote during his imprisonment:
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).
Or when he encouraged believers not to “get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9).
The strength we’ll need to live by faith and accomplish great things for Christ won’t come from within; rather, we must depend on the Holy Spirit. We face the battles ahead armed only with a humble yes to God in our hearts, asking His Holy Spirit for grace, power, and victory.
And here’s what’s so exciting about crossing the faith frontier. The sights we’ll see and the joys we’ll experience will dwarf any challenge we faced along the trail. Paul wrote:
Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
- Have I been indexing my level of obedience to Christ to how comfortable I feel with what He asks me to do?
- Have I taken any steps backward on my faith frontier journey that I need to repent of?
- How might God want to grow my resolve for the next steps ahead?
- Would my life change if I focused on eternal rewards rather than earthly circumstances?