When You Wish it Could be Easy

Starting over isn’t easy. While it’s a more upbeat perspective, the heart of “starting over” is its root word—change. If you’re anything like me, you’re not a fan of being dragged out of comfort zones or falling from safety nets.

Change can often lead to good, but delayed goodness isn’t always easy.

As a new believer, I was schooled in a recipe to seek goodness from God. It looked like this:

Prayer + Peace = God’s perfect will

My conclusion then, was if I prayed but had no peace, I must be on the outskirts of those good and perfect answers.

God has asked me to do some hard things in my life. To leave behind people and places that I thought would be forever. To lay down a ministry that represented a decade of labor and love. To be honest, authentic, and share words that may not be widely accepted. To go to a brand new church and begin again.

Change and starting over aren’t easy, they are hard. Each of my hard steps while laced with prayer, were not filled with peace. Which turned that “perfect will” recipe on its head. And had I followed it, I would have done precisely nothing that God asked me to. 

Hard work doesn’t always come with peace, because peace doesn’t cost us anything.

The truth is that hard work terrifies me. It’s all wrapped up in the potential for failure, the possibility of unmet expectations, and the fear of disapproval. Those things equate to the polar opposite of peace—and a gnawing pit in my stomach.

When God asks me to do hard things, my natural inclination is to bullet point all the reasons why I just don’t have it in me. But I can rarely justify not doing what He’s asked.

God asks us to do hard things, because who better to do them than His own? (Tweet that)

The “hard” in this life stretches the borders of our faith. Our reliance must shift from our ability, understanding, and strength, to the charge that God is writing over our lives—even if it’s hard. Even if there is no peace. Even if the cost is great.

Hard work is worth doing when it’s an offering to God. Do we want to spend our days offering God something that costs us nothing?

For to this end we toil and strive,
because we have our hope set on the Living God, who is the Savior
of all people, especially of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:10

Our hope rests firmly upon a Living God who knows us better than we know ourselves—who sees the potential within us to tackle all the hard work through to completion. And yet, He doesn’t ask us to walk forward alone. That would be too hard. 

When You Wish it Could be Easy {http://wp.me/p2v8DX-Bb} www.simplyforone.net

I don’t know what your “hard” is. Perhaps it’s a battle to overcome or a fear to conquer, a dream to pursue or maybe one to let go of. It could be babies to raise or a marriage to mend. Maybe all you know right now is that the road ahead just looks flat-out H-A-R-D.

By all equations, your peace may feel delayed. But be assured, your present work is no less worthy of pursuit. There is no such thing as perfect peace apart from a perfect Savior. He rallies at our side as we embrace that which He has called us too—especially when it’s hard.

Our calling isn’t to easy, it’s to eternity. (Tweet that)

Fight the good fight for the true faith.
Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you.
1 Timothy 6:12

The battle for true faith is rarely warm and fuzzy. While your fight is not easy, it is good. The reward is the promise of peace to come; the promise of peace forever.

#inHimican: Let’s encourage each other to fight the good fight when things feel flat-out hard. As you live, see, and create images that rally your strength in Christ,  join me on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #inHimican.

You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots:  Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory)Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Bonnie Gray (#onewordcoffee), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday).

When You Wish it Could Be Easy {http://wp.me/p2v8DX-Bb} www.simplyforone.net

43 thoughts on “When You Wish it Could be Easy

  1. So often, we are (reluctantly) willing to change if only God will promise to make it easy. Ha! That’s not His way and that’s not His end game! We grow and learn and stretch into who He made us to be the MOST when we embrace change outside of our comfort zones and let crazy faith rise up within us even if we are standing on shaky knees. “Change” just so happens to be my OneWord this year… I can tell you after all the changes last year, I felt like maybe I had changed enough already! ;) (And God laughed and laughed and laughed at that!)

    Also this: I am LOVING your space here! So pretty!

    1. Haha – yes, sometimes we’re ready to call change done, no? God has had me on shaky knees a few times, and I’m so grateful that He is ever and always holding us up. Thanks so much for visiting – and glad you love the new space.

  2. Tiffany, I can’t thank the Lord enough for leading you to my blog just now. I NEEDED to read your post today. I am amazed at the way our paths sounds so similar, right down to the laying down of a ten-year ministry. The path God is leading my family and me on is one that is radical and, as you said, H-A-R-D. It is a walk of faith, never by sight, and it is plain that God does not shine a flashlight several steps in front of us. We HAVE to trust Him…we have no other choice. Your words penetrated deep today, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Cheryl…I’m so touched to hear that God crossed our paths today. I get a bit of a shiver whenever I think of that hard tread path. But as I come up the other side, I look back with such gratitude for what God has done, what He continues to do. It isn’t easy, but His unfolding purpose has proven every single tear worthy. Praying that you experience His tender grace on your own journey and that He reveals His perfect purpose in His perfect time. Big hugs, dear one…and always feel free to reach out if I can be of support.

  3. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but until recently, I held deep in the recesses of my heart the flawed assumption that my life as a Christ-follower should (perhaps would) be easy. I’m learning the hard way that in a life fully committed to Him blood, sweat and tears are deeply involved. Thank you for your beautiful words of confirmation and encouragement my friend! Always blessed when I stop by your place!

    1. No need to be embarrassed here, friend. I think we have the unique perspective of realizing that life WITH Him, even with trial and obstacles, is so much easier than life WITHOUT Him. But so often, those trials are used by Him to mold and shape us into the person He needs us to be. And while He goes before us, that isn’t easy, is it. So grateful that the sweat and tears (btw…I cry way more that I sweat 😉) comes with great eternal value. Hugs, friend…always love hearing from you. xoxo

  4. Those nifty formula’s like God’s Will = prayer + peace rarely work do they? If only life were so simple. This goes right along with a book I’ve started reading: Suzie Eller’s Come with Me, the chapter I just read talked about how just because God calls us to something doesn’t mean it’ll be easy!

  5. “When God asks me to do hard things, my natural inclination is to bullet point all the reasons why I just don’t have it in me.” You may have read some of my journals. Oh, Tiffany, we just naturally shrink from the hard and yet there is such a clear Biblical pattern of God calling his own to the hard. Thank you for your honesty and your encouragement.

    1. So true, Lisa. We have a well-established pattern among the saints who fought hard to guarantee the freedoms of our faith. So grateful that we have their example to glean from as we seek out our own journey of faith.

  6. Love your thoughts here, Tiffany. Yes, the hard is often where God wants me to go and blesses me most. Thanks for this important reminder! Great to visit your place and nice to meet ya!

  7. Girl,
    I thank God for the gift He’s given you and for how the Spirit leads you as you pen words that come from places of surrender – from your hard places pours forth soft spaces for others to find comfort, wisdom and grace.
    And yes, “Hard work is worth doing when it’s an offering to God.” Seems the costly offerings never are easy. Blessed by you!

    1. Aww, Jess…you bless me so richly. Especially because my true desire is to create soft spaces for others to find just those things. The costly offerings aren’t easy, but His glory also came at a very high price, didn’t it. I love you, friend and your sweet, sweet heart…and words. xo

  8. Hi Tiffany,
    How true that peace is not a confirmation that the way we have chosen will be easy or pleasant. It is often much more difficult than we could ever imagine! But I suppose that’s where the presence of God triumphs over any feelings of unrest (or un-peace!) that we are experiencing and for that I am so grateful! xo

  9. Hard has never been peaceful for me–mostly because I agonize over doing hard–I’d rather avoid it. But I do know that once the decision is made (with much prayer and hand-wringing), I usually feel at peace at some point in the process.

    1. Me too, Anita. I shy away from hard. But I know, you know better than most, that hard happens. Often so that change can happen in us. Can’t imagine tacking any of it without Him, so I’m not trying. Thanks for visiting today.

    1. So true, Ginger. Often God is simply asking us to move forward relying on trust rather than pursuing peace. It a definite challenge, but believing He never leaves our side truly increases our faith.

      Thank you for being here today – for pinning, FB commenting, and showing your love and support. I’m truly blessed and grateful, friend.

    1. Yes, David – the perfect example of overcoming fear and pressing through the hardest of life when there was no peace. Such a great example of God’s goodness to stay with us even when we fall flat on our faces, right?! Thanks for visiting today, Susan.

  10. Oh yes! The illusive peace. Lol. When I seek peace more than I seek God it becomes an idol. You are so right…God may give us peace, but He may give us a whole lot of hard work before we get there. Thanks for the reminder today!

    1. Yes, yes, yes – in fact that whole idol thing is rolling around my head for next week, Becky. Crazy how we can turn the best God gives us into an idol we pursue with more passion than we do Him. Yikes – my fickleness brings me to my knees. Thanks for being here, Becky.

  11. Well, I’m learning some of that right now. We’ve been on quite an adventure lately and it can be scary, crazy and hard all at the same time. Yet in the midst of it all… He is good. He always is… and that is good for us! :)

    Thanks for this reminder and truth! Love to you!

    1. He is good, and that covering makes the hard seem all the more manageable, doesn’t it. Thanks for visiting, Rachel – and praying the scary, crazy, hard results in beautiful goodness for His glory.

  12. Tiffany, beautiful post. How often do we try to opt for easy? Guilty, right here. God has ways of breaking that in us . . . especially when He asks us to walk through hard. We either learn to lean on Him, or we falter on our own.

    And yes, hard work can seem to net nothing if it doesn’t go as we expect. It can seem like a failing proposition. But that God . . . He uses everything He allows into our lives. Now to embrace hard work and not fear failure in my every day living. :)

    1. Yes – the every day nitty gritty can be the real challenge, can’t it. I love your words – we either learn to lean or we falter on our own. I know you’re intimately acquainted with leaning these days. So, so glad that we have a Father who is always ready and willing to hold us up – if we’ll surrender the control and let Him. Hugs, sweet friend.

  13. I very much appreciate your honest and accurate truth sharing about how we can so misunderstand religious formulas that do not always equal X. Difficult times are indeed not places that are warm and fuzzy and laying down something we have labored in for Him can be heart-wrenching. Obedience is not for cowards. It was great to visit as your neighbor at Holly Barrett’s Linkup at Testimony Tuesday.

    1. Obedience takes all kinds of bravery doesn’t it – and a willingness to die to self, which is a hard fought journey all on it’s own. So glad that although we have to walk through the heart wrenching, our labor is not in vain. God has an incredible way of bringing beauty from ashes when we let Him have His way. So glad that you visited today, Pam. Blessings.

    1. Kind of like eating brussel sprouts, right? Good for us, but not always easy to swallow. ;) Yes – keeping our eyes fixed on things above does put the hard into right perspective. Thanks for being here, Angela.

  14. Tiffany, change is so never easy. So much THIS: “Our hope rests firmly upon a Living God who knows us better than we know ourselves—who sees the potential within us to tackle all the hard work through to completion. And yet, He doesn’t ask us to walk forward alone. That would be too hard.” At seminary, during all the many changes, a friend recommended Joyce Rupps book “Praying our Goodbyes”

  15. This is so encouraging, Tiffany. I so identify with this – “The truth is that hard work terrifies me. It’s all wrapped up in the potential for failure, the possibility of unmet expectations, and the fear of disapproval.” But what a hope it is that God knows us better than we do ourselves and He never asks us to walk alone through the hard. Thank you for this comfort today. Blessings and hugs to you!

    By the way, I have included one of your quotes in my “What’s New This Month” and on my quote page. :)

    1. So glad you were encouraged, Trudy. Yup – I don’t think those fears every really go away. We just move forward a little bit afraid but holding tight to God at our side. That’s what being brave is all about. And thanks for sharing a quote too, friend. xo

  16. The first paragraph, that very first set of letters and punctuation, brought a sigh. (That’s a good thing.) Between you, Abby, and two (3?) other posts I’ve read this week, I’m sensing a need to release the control ~ to be ready for anything. Think I’m going to go put my nose in prayer, sit at the foot of the cross. Great encouragement, Tiffany, to do the hard things, to set our hope in the only One who offers it ~ Jesus

    1. Nose in prayer and bottom at the cross – the best way to sort through all the noise. So glad that you found encouragement here and that my voice was one God’s using to speak to you. I’m on the control releasing journey right beside you, my friend. Hugs.

  17. Tiffany, just yesterday, I wrote the phrase “Be strong and do the work” on our little whiteboard and stuck it on the fridge door. I recently ran across this thought in 1 Chronicles 28, of all places, and it has sort of become the motto for this season of my life. I’m totally with you about the fear involved with hard work, possible failure, rejection, etc. But you’re right …the fight isn’t easy, but it is good. Thank you for this encouragement today, my friend!

    1. So great when God gives us a word that sticks – literally and figuratively. And so glad that we have His strength to propel us into those hard things, even while we are a little afraid. It makes dependence on Him all the more necessary, right?! Thanks for being here, friend and looking forward to watching your good work unfold.

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