I started on the book of John for my daily bible reading. I planned to read one chapter a day, so I read chapter 1 yesterday and I read chapter 2 today. I must have been really tired because, this morning, I turned to 1 John chapter 2, instead of chapter 2 in the book of John and read without realising it.
I read the following from 1 John 2:24 (ESV)
“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.”
I didn’t think much of it until I read my devotional book for the day, which talks about the story of Hudson Taylor facing hardships and difficulties in his missions work in China. John McCarthy, a good friend of Taylor, wrote a letter to him and the letter greatly encouraged Taylor with new perspectives and new hope in the work that God has called him to do.
Below is Taylor’s response to his friend’s encouragement:
“To let my loving Saviour work in me His will, my sanctification, is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; resulting in the love of an almighty Saviour.
From the consciousness of union springs the power to abide. Let us, then – not seek, not wait, not pursue – but now accept by faith the Saviour’s word, “you are the branches.”
As McCarthy encouraged Taylor, God used this God-incident to minister to me; I had experienced a stressful week, I was worn out, emotionally drained and I was striving to stay afloat and on top of everything life was throwing at me… However, God in His infinite wisdom, allowed me to turn to chapter 2 of 1 John instead of the book of John. He reminded me of His presence; He reminded me that I neither needed to struggle nor strive, but all I needed to do was remain in Him – to abide in Him.
Friends, what are you struggling with today? What are you striving for in your life? Let us all abide in Jesus, whether they are issues at work or relationships that are strained. Let us encourage one another and be reminded that we are attached to the real source of power and the real rhythm of peace! Your work circumstances and difficult relationships might remain the same, but your spirit and heart will be very different, and then you can make a difference because of Him!