In Our school system, once the kids complete their 5th grade year, they enter the 6th grade center. This brings every 6th grader in our community together into one school. Then they will attend the 7th grade center and finally the 8th grade center. So the kids experience a new school each year until they reach the 9th grade.
My Son was really excited to begin this year at the 8th grade center. He looked forward to it most of the summer! Once the day finally arrived, he was thrilled! He was happy with his schedule, loved the majority of his teachers, and found his way around without getting lost! :)
After some time had gone by and a routine had been established, I asked him "do you still love the 8th grade center?" He said, "OMG, it is sooo hard!"
As I began explaining to him "this is the year that the teachers no longer baby you. This is the year that will prepare you for MID-HIGH and HiGHSCHOOL."
I immediately thought how similar this is to our Christian walk. When we are Saved, asking the Lord for Forgiveness of our sins and accepting HIM as our Lord and Savior, we are on fire! Many experience a Peace like never before and a Joy that is truly unspeakable! Some actually want to tell EVERYONE about the gift of Salvation ~ it doesn't matter to whom, just as long as they can tell their story!
Then as time goes by and we know the Lord and HIS Word more and more, we realize that it's time to begin growing up in our Christian walk. Then we experience trials and we think "OH MY, this is SOOO HARD!" Some begin to doubt or even question this thing they call Faith.
There are sooo many Scriptures that clearly tell us...we will have troubles, we will have trials! Others encourage us to stay the course, don't grow weary, and do not lose heart!
We are also instructed to be around like minded believers, so that we can encourage one another! Having someone come along side of you when you are experiencing a hard time in your Faith is priceless.
I know personally, There have been times that I have questioned God, my Faith has wavered and I have wondered where in the world the Lord is??!! But, instead of having a fit and acting like a child, I hear the Holy Spirit remind me of 1Peter 2:2 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You've had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God.
I am guessing that a large majority of believers have those seasons in which we wonder "Where is God?" "Why can't I hear HIM any longer?" but there are also those seasons in which we are "On Fire and sharing all the HE has done for/through us!"
No matter if you are a new believer full of JOY and ready to share Christ with anyone who will listen OR a believer who feels forgotten and far away from Christ, remember no matter what, God loves you and is with you! Just like I explained to my Son....it takes a lot of work, hard work, and perseverance too! The teachers tell you what to do and expect a lot out of you. It is up to you if you complete the work and just exactly how you do that work....with all of your heart, or maybe just good enough to get it finished. The teacher will not "force you to do the work" but if you choose not to do it, you will face the consequences!
God Provides all we need....The Holy Spirit, His Son, and HIS Word! Growing up isn't always easy but with God by your side, you can do it!!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,Heb 12:1