What do you do when you're uncomfortable? If you're like most people, you probably avoid uncomfortable situations altogether or shy away from it as quickly as you can. We strive to be comfortable and compare it to being relaxed or at peace. For me, the idea of being comfortable often looks like snuggling up with a book, a hot cup of coffee, a nice fluffy blanket and feeling the comfort of warmth and a good story to let my mind wander.
When we face uncomfortable situations, though, God often calls us to stand firm in faith and persevere through the discomfort. Trusting God in those awkward or even painful circumstances can give us new, needed perspective to help us grow in faith and come closer to Him, where our true comfort can be found. Faith through discomfort is an act of obedience and shows we trust God.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
When I started streaming on Twitch I was so uncomfortable, felt so out of place, and had no clue what I was doing. I knew without question God had called me to the platform to share His word, but I was not sure how. I began researching and took my time to get set up, but knowing without doubt God told me to get going I went live and did my best, trusting God would help me figure it all out. I was cautious about how I got started and how I shared His Word, but I obediently began streaming His word. I was sure of His instruction and trusted I didn't need to have it all figured out because He already did.
'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ' Joshua 1:9
'fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ' Isaiah 41:10
I stumbled and had no clue what I was doing for a long time, but I continued to trust God and knew He would tell me what to do just as confidently as I knew He called me to get started. I went faithfully and completely outside my comfort zone, persevered in the growing pains of starting to stream, starting public Bible studies, and starting a new Christian gaming community all at once. Now, nearly two years later, I am beginning to see the fruits of my obedience and better understand the value of trusting God even when it forces me to get extremely uncomfortable.
'But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ' 2 Corinthians 12:9
It took me a long time to see the fruits of persistent, faithful obedience pan out. In that nearly two year period I failed a lot. I went my own way many times. I struggled to listen to God. Every time, though, God would place something in my path that gave me a choice to get back in line with Him or continue on my own. When I failed to heed God’s correction things would get really tough. I lost leaders, members, and opportunities along the way as God seemed to yank and pull me back to His path over and over again. In all of this I have found deep value in getting uncomfortable. I have learned even better that we must get uncomfortable so we can grow.
'I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. ' Numbers 11:14
The Israelites who were freed from Egypt failed to obey God and most ended up missing out on entering the Promised Land, much like when we fail to obey God we miss out on His blessings. It takes action on our part. We need to apply our beliefs and live like we believe. Through trust and obedience we apply our belief and live it out. It becomes part of us, changing us, and helping us to grow in faithfulness all the time.
'But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. ' James 2:18
What uncomfortable thing is God calling you to? Where is God seeking to grow you? Discomfort can be an opportunity to grow closer to God and become more like Christ. Remain faithful to God as He faithfully guides and provides for you. Don’t be like the Israelites, grumbling and complaining in their discomfort, missing the blessing and provisions, and falling into disobedience, ungratefulness, and bitterness. If you are struggling to hear God clearly, struggling to be courageously obedient, seek God out deeper by spending more time in prayer and His Word, and remember you have an advocate in Christ. You are not tackling this alone. Christ is with you, enduring the pain and discomfort with you, and His Spirit is there to guide, correct, and comfort you through the discomfort of change and growth.
'My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. ' 1 John 2:1
'If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. ' Numbers 14:8
'What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? ' Romans 6:1-2
'for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ' 2 Timothy 1:7
'Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. ' Romans 2:4-5