The Blessing is After the But.

Have you ever wanted to do something hard, but you convinced yourself that "you just don't have it in you?” Maybe you even made an attempt, but decided quickly that “you just don’t have what it takes.”

Do you console yourself with thinking that you tried, relying on your "but" to dull the pain in your heart, from being in the same predicament and realizing that you may never reach your God-given destiny? Can you think back to a time where you set out to really "do it" this time, but yet two weeks later, you had already aborted the process, prepared your concession speech, and once again convinced yourself that you tried, but...

Maybe your "it" is fasting to hear God's voice, but you just can't give up food for whatever reason. Or, maybe your "it" is needing God to fix your marriage, but not being able to consistently do what he's been telling you to do for a while now, in order to humble yourself and change the areas you need to work on first. Your "it" could be staying quiet when others betray and lie about you, instead of seeking to take matters into your own hands. “It” could be losing weight, starting your own business, letting go of toxic relationships...Sis, I don't know what your "it" is, but what I do know is that the blessing and life that you desire is found on the other side of your "but." On the other side of your sacrifice.

I can relate to your resistance to suffering and sacrifice, and so can Jesus. In Luke 22:42 Jesus is facing the reality that in order to fulfill his divine purpose, he would have to make a painful sacrifice. Coming to this heavy realization Jesus cries out "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will BUT yours be done." As I type this, tears begin to swell in my eyes, as I realize the burden and the loneliness Jesus faced as he contemplated wanting to turn back and abort the process. But it's the process, the death and burial that allowed him to resurrect, and conquer death for all of us.  Without the sacrifice, you and I would not possess the power to trample over our own dead situations. The Sacrifice was necessary! And your sacrifice is necessary. When you face your own "wanting to turn back" moments, in light of Jesus, I'm sure it pales in comparison. In the next scripture, it says “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:43) Sis, what we can learn from this scripture is that no matter how hard your "it" is, you can pray to God about the hard task you're facing. Instead of giving excuses about why it's just too hard, you can vent and yet still change your "but" from an excuse to convince yourself of your shortcomings, to a "But your will be done." Or "But I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." And just as God gave Jesus the strength to go through, he will strengthen you too.

Friends we can't expect to get something from nothing. To get to the life you dream of, you will have to give up and sacrifice something. Unlike Jesus, you may not have to sacrifice your life, but your sacrifice could be: pride, laziness, relationships, jobs, sleep, comfort, old patterns and habits, excuses, selfishness, your flesh, food, television, or any number of things.

What it is that you know you need to sacrifice in your life, but until today, you've really ingrained in your mind that you just don't have it in you to do?

The blessing is on the other side of that. It's on the other side of your "but."