I wish when I opened the pages of my Bible it would assure me not only that everything was going to be alright, but that it would be easy and comfortable. It would be a great dream to find the Bible letting me know I will not have to struggle and suffer for my faith, and that I will always feel head over heals in love with God. There is no doubt some people would tell you that is how they experience life, for the rest of us who prefer authenticity to the dream know that life is hard, there is struggle and we waiver in our love and commitment for God.
In the final three letters to the churches, Jesus tells the churches to hand in there, have endurance. The struggles of the people are going unseen by the One who can actually make a difference. Jesus can see the struggle, and can see the faithfulness of the people. He offers hope. Notice he does not take away the struggle. Jesus doesn't just step in and remove the challenges, he encourages people to be strong.
In the final letter we find the famous lukewarm dialogue. We have all been there. Our passion for God has not and is not always red hot. Rarely is it stone cold either. It is easy to fall into the place where our relationship with God becomes pedestrian. Taking God for granted, and not seeing God as our source of life and breath. To us Jesus encourages us to light the fire again to burn with passion for the Lord.
All of this is in preparation of the coming king. This season of Advent we are in is a season to examine our journey. Are we discouraged, lukewarm, just going along? Are we ready for an in breaking of the King of Kings. I sometimes think we do not experience the fullness of God because we do not make ourselves truly ready for it. Let us us this advent to get ready to experience all God has for us.