Thursday, November 23, 2006

Strength for the narrow, hard way

Our Lord characterizes the life his followers are on as a narrow path; we are to avoid the wide and easy way that leads to destruction. He plainly tells us that this way is going to be hard, but it alone leads to life (Matthew 7:13-end).

But doesn't he tell us just a little later that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30)? How do we reconcile this?

That was answered for me in the sermon last week. Preaching on Colossians 1:11, we learned that God strengthens us for all endurance and patience with joy. Like someone who is carrying a heavy load successfully, God's power enables us to abide under difficult circumstances and strengthens us to patiently deal with difficult people.

The power of God that conquered our sinful soul is available to us in our life of faith as we journey down a narrow and hard way. But remember, few are those that know this way.


Mark W. Balthrop said...

Just a "what if?" here:

What if there is only one who can walk the narrow and hard way and it isn't us? I mean at all. Not even our being strengthened by him, but only by our being in mystical union with the only one who can walk it.

Then the focus of Col 1:11 is not in 11 at all but in v. 12, "giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." Yes, there is strength for the day-to-day (for endurance and patience), but walking the narrow and hard way is all about being qualified to share in the inheritance.

Just a "what if?".

Tim said...

I like that point a lot, Mark; something I hadn't thought of at all.

I really appreciate your looking in on me from time to time.