Holy “Hill Difficulty”


Let me begin this message by asking you this: What “hills”—what problems, obstacles, challenges, or difficulties—are you facing today in your personal and/or professional life that you must climb and ultimately overcome? Whatever these hills might be, know this: because God is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31), every hill you face is a holy hill.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Sadly, many have misinterpreted this verse. They have taken it to mean they can do absolutely anything, regardless of what that “anything” might be. Well, this is simply not true. If you want to fly, you’ll do well to take a plane, because no matter how determined and trusting in God you might be, if you jump from the roof of your house to soar into the heavens, you flight will be short-lived and your crash landing painful!

Philippians 4:13 must be kept in its context. What Paul was telling us is that we are empowered to do anything God is calling us to do, because God never calls without equipping.

In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’s classic allegory of the Christian life, the character named Christian came to the base of a steep climb called “the hill Difficulty.” At the bottom of the hill was a spring of water, and Christian paused to drink of it. Now, refreshed and recharged, he was ready to take on the challenge set before him and he began his climb up the hill, singing as he went.

Regardless of the “hill Difficulty” you are facing today, pause before you begin your ascent and refresh yourself from the spring of your Savior.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

The psalmist provides the key that unlocks the door to every hill we face. Every child of God has been planted by streams of water (our Savior); Jesus is the source of our power to prosper in all we do for the glory of God. From problems in your relationships to a prodigal child, from challenges in the classroom to major health issues, before you start your climb, drink from the springs of your Savior and He will give you all you need to climb all the way to the top.

Remember, God not only knows everything you are going through, He has ordained it all. He created the hill! And ultimately He will use that difficulty for your good and His glory. Drink deeply from the springs of your Savior (soaking up His Word, maintaining your prayer life, seeking out the communion of the saints), and know you will be strengthened, as Christian was, to face every “hill Difficulty,” knowing God will get you to the top. And you should sing songs of praise as you climb!

The prophet Isaiah said, “You will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3). May that be the confession of all our lives as we refresh ourselves in our Savior.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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