I don’t hear much straining going on.
I hear a lot of talk, but no grunting and straining to obey the Bible.
Indeed, there is even less self-discipline taking place than there is the noise of straining.
Really? Seriously? The Christian Church is in strict training?
When was the last time you left any church or the home of any Christian and were dumbfounded by the:
Running with a direct purposes…
Beating their bodies to make them their slaves…
Straining to obtain humility from God?
Straining to obtain from God the truth about all matters?
Straining to obtain the grace to overcome specific sins?
Straining to obtain a poured out life of love for others no matter the opposition?
Straining to obtain an attitude that hates and despises money?
Straining to rejoice by the Holy Spirit when slandered, maligned and opposed?
Straining to sit through a sermon that is portraying Jesus Christ clearly crucified?
Straining to obtain other brothers and sisters willing to strain in the Light of God?
Straining to obtain the grace to flee sexual immorality?
Straining to obtain so that you can work hard at giving to others?
Straining to obtain the wisdom to know God’s will for the work He has chosen?
Straining to rejoice always and not grumble about being asked to do anything?
Straining to obtain obedience to all scriptures, especially your least favorite?
Straining to obtain control of your mouth, that tongue set on fire by hell? The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6)
Straining to obtain the power to silence those who slander in the land? Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord . (Psalm 101:8) Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. (Psalm 101:5)
Straining to obtain from God just the right words and way to speak life to another person?
Straining to obtain righteousness, self-discipline while learning to perfect holiness?
Straining to obtain the rest when He tells it is time to enter a quiet place?
Straining to obtain the courage to push forward or move on from “there.”?
Straining to obtain protection from the danger of false brothers? I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. (2 Corinthians 11:26)
Straining to obtain the mind of Christ that is a slave to no man, but a servant of all. Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Straining to do God’s calling no matter family opinions?
Straining to show no favoritism to anyone?
Straining to turn off and tune out all that is not God’s will right now?
Straining to read, meditate, and ponder the unfathomable mystery of godliness. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:3-4)
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Note that all these things are just the groundwork that must be laid so that God can flow over into your life the sufferings of Jesus. The sufferings of Jesus that can love others and God alone.
The reason you have so little comfort in Jesus is because you are suffering as God appoints for your life.
Desire more comfort? Then carry your cross for there is no resurrected life apart from being crucified with Christ.