Well, I did it! This morning I left the comfort of my warm bed and took the risk to get back to my morning workouts. Not only that, but I laid aside the comfort of my normal routine and took the risk to try a few new machines in my gym regiment. Though it was a bit uncomfortable and somewhat painful, the great feeling of accomplishment and those endorphins that come from working out the toxins in our bodies was a great relief.
The sad reality is I had let my desire for comfort get the best of me. My thinking was that I thought I deserved to pass on my needed exercise because I was under enough stress with my busy life. The truth is there is a lot of stress in life; work issues, home issues, caring for sick or aging family, parenting, wrestling with financial issues, dealing with relationship issues, and the list goes on. So we turn to seek some comfort; be it comfort foods, a comfy couch, down time, me time, entertainment. Though these are great as mini vacations, they can become our ultimate goal, our chief aim, or even seen as an entitlement. Rest, pause, and comfort are needed at times. Jesus has even said…
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Life, however, is not all about rest, relaxation, and ease. What if this nation’s leaders would have never risked freedom? What if inventors would have never risked innovations? What if business owners decided to just be comfortable and never took the risk to expand? What if explorers never risked new ventures? What if entrepreneurs chose comfort over risk? What if your parents, your mom, never took the risk to have you? Without risk we would not be enjoying the freedoms, smart phones, our favorite businesses or food establishments, inventions, and even life itself. Wow, there is a relief in risk!
See we were made to take risks, to overcome hurdles and hazards, and venture out to be that person God created us to be.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Sure there is a pull and attraction to seek a life of comfort. Actually one Biblical author wrote a whole book about it. It is the unusual book called Ecclesiastes. In this book, King Solomon talks about the waste of time of a life focused on comfort and he comes to a risky conclusion:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Yes, it does take risk to explore and live a faith in God. This why the Apostle Peter wrote this:
2 Peter 1:5-7 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
The words ‘make every effort’ can be translated as ‘at your own risk’ meaning that to grow in faith will take risk. It takes risk to start a faith in Jesus and it takes risk to grow in that faith. Yet, though there maybe discomfort in the risk, there is relief.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done will bring out our true purpose.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.
There is great relief in risk! Why not step away from the pull of seeking comfort and step towards some adventure of risk. Maybe even take the risk of exploring faith.
Church is an obvious place to start and continue the risk of faith. If you are not already connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches in either Los Alamitos or Garden Grove this week. We are starting a new teaching series entitled ‘Livin’ the Dream.’ We would love for you to join us. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net .
The risk of going to the gym this morning was well worth it. I feel both relieved and energized, ready to start my day. So is the risk of exploring faith. What risks will you take today?
Seeking the relief of risk with you,