By Erik O. Garthe
“If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen!” was a response made famous by President Harry S. Truman in the 1940s. For the believer in Christ, that line is not appropriate. Followers of Jesus are called to do some time in the kitchen periodically.
So, the advice to Christians is: If you don’t like the heat, stay in the kitchen and learn to handle it. Are you facing some difficult battle today? Don’t run! Stand still and refuse to retreat. Look at it as God looks at it and draw upon His power to hold up under the blast.
Sure, it’s tough. But God never promised that it would be easy. He offers something better than easy. The Lord promises His own sustaining presence through any trouble you may encounter. The reality is that there is not an achievement worth remembering that isn’t stained with the blood of diligence and scratched with the scars of disappointment. Running, quitting, escaping, or hiding solves nothing. Cutting out of the battle only postpones dealing with it.
Psalm 78 records in one place a history of the Jews in their rebellion and wandering. The pattern flows back and forth between God’s faithfulness and patience to Israel’s failure and unbelief. The verse that tells it all is “The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.” Psalm 78:9 (NKJV). This verse explains that the Ephraimites were trained for battle and had the weapons necessary to fight the war. On the outside, they were a very impressive looking machine. Inspection of the troops revealed a company of soldiers ready to take on any enemy. Yet, Scripture says that they “turned back in the day of battle.” The reality of the church is that the quality of one’s faith is revealed when everything’s not going well. Proverbs 24:10 (NKJV) reminds us, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
Stay in the kitchen and let faith produce its fruit in your life.
Erik O. Garthe serves as the associate pastor at Canton Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.