President Theodore Roosevelt is famously quoted as saying “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty” or to put it more succinctly, “worthy goals require effort, pain, and difficulty.” Now some worthy goals are certainly easily achieved, yet this is usually because some time prior in life the effort, pain, and difficulty was already put forth in order to make the goal easier to accomplish today.
King David wrote of a worthy goal he had in his life in Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.” Every Christian knows the effort, pain, and difficulty that David and indeed all Christians go through as they strive to dwell in the house of the LORD. David does not mean physically residing in a temple or church or only asking of God when at an altar. David means that he seeks to lead a life where his heart dwells in the presence of the almighty by aligning with the LORD’s will and direction. There are certainly many times in every Christian’s life that subduing the sinful flesh in order to follow the LORD’s will causes great effort, pain, and difficulty. Yet this goal is worth every ounce of struggle for the way of the LORD is far better than any other way, even if Christian’s follow it imperfectly.
Finally, although David did not mean it this way, one can hardly hear of the dwelling in the house of the LORD without thinking of becoming part of His family. This too is a worthy goal, that took effort, pain, and difficulty. Yet this goal was not accomplished by David but rather by David’s greater Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior. Jesus set forth on the worthy goal of redeeming lost mankind. This goal was worthy not because of who He was saving, but because of the love and justice of the Savior, Himself. Jesus put forth the effort of a perfect life in humiliation, the pain of watching many people reject Him as their Savior, and the difficulty of carrying the punishment of the sins of the world. Through these actions, Jesus accomplished what no other could, justified the world, and will one day welcome all who call on Him in His name to eternity in heaven.
In Christ, Pastor Naumann