In this episode:
- Don’t forget to become a Theodio Premier Subscriber. Offer ends when 2020 comes to a close.
- The suffering we will endure when the reward is worth it
- The relevant segment of the Precious Remedies audiobook
- A brief recollection about something a college friend once told me
- Episode blog post: Seven wasys to keep your eyes on the prize
- Podcast introduction: Yabo Obien
- Logo and marque: Jeff Lyons at Light & Story
- Original music: Makeup and Vanity Set
- Kindle version of Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices by John Hendryx at Monergism.com
- Text for Precious Remedies provided by GraceGems.org
Welcome back to the Theodio Podcast. I’m your host, Dan Kassis.
Today’s episode is going to be a bit harder, a bit darker than others. Last time we compared blessedness and happiness, seeing that the former is a better choice even at the temporary expense of the latter.
This time we’ll look at how Satan uses that place of unhappiness to discourage us from pressing on in the faith. He shows us the sometimes high cost of following Christ to the end that we might decide it’s just too much.
But if you’ll allow me a cliche here, that’s when we need the Holy Spirit to remind us: keep your eyes on the prize. The discipline we exert to push through pain and receive a reward is worth it in the end. We see this principle at work in other areas of life.
How far we’ll go
Eighty-hour weeks. Endless classes, textbooks, memorization, and exams. The red tape and organizational frustrations of the health care system. Extreme competition for only a few fellowships. Student loans, sleeplessness, stress, and uncertainty. This is the life of a medical resident.
Up before dawn. Aching muscles. Tired brain. The same breakfast, again. In the pool, in the gym, on the track. Another workout. Pushing, stretching, sweating, gasping for air. Missing your goal by a split second. In the shower, then a quick meal, then you do it all again before dinner. This is the life of an Olympic athlete.
Three clean outfits. Three breakfasts, barely touched. Missing homework. Runny nose. Late to daycare, late to school, late to work. Angry phone call with the vice principal. Arranging rides home. Grabbing one more fast-food meal on the way to practice. Hurried conversations, hurried dinner, hurry off to bed. One moment of peace. This is the life of a single parent.
Why do we do it? Why do human beings push ourselves beyond our limits, beyond our desires and hopes, to accomplish something few will recognize and fewer will remember? Because of our hope of the reward, the prize. Only because the promise is greater than the sacrifice. The result is worth the pain.
- A medical degree
- A gold medal
- Three strong, healthy, well-loved kids
They all appear at the end of narrow paths, uphill climbs, leaving bits of ourselves along the way. For the prize. To see the clearing at the end that leads to the valley, the restful retreat by the quiet lake.
As Brooks further writes, once we have chosen the more difficult path our enemy will attempt to discourage us by focusing on the crosses we bear instead of the crowns awaiting us.
His remedies will help us keep our eyes on the prize, embracing hardship and welcoming sacrifice. The pain fades away when the reward at the end comes into view.
Let’s listen now to device 9 and its remedies.
It’s easy to think the pains we endure as believers are greater than those who aren’t. But we can’t see or feel the true inward effects of unbelief. A college friend of mine told me that she would go to bed every night terrified, wracked with fear and guilt over the mess of her life, even though she appeared happy on the outside. Once Christ saved her and she knew the joy of forgiveness … sleep, peace, rest … even though her new faith still came with hardship.
We have three device left to discuss here in chapter 2. Next time will be the 10th device: comparison – comforting ourselves in our sin, knowing others sin more. It’s a deadly temptation. But as usual, Thomas Brooks will show us how God’s Word helps us overcome it.
Please don’t miss it. Thanks for listening.