I recently read this and found it to be both helpful and convicting:

“Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard. Choose your hard.

Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard. Choose your hard.

Being in debt is hard. Being financially disciplined is hard. Choose your hard.

Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard. Choose your hard.

Life will never be easy. It will always be hard. But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.”

I believe there is a powerful truth found in those statements and spiritual applications for us as well.

Studying Scripture is hard.

2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Studying the Word of God is hard work. It takes time, focus, diligence, and putting off other things that are calling for our attention. If I choose to be a student of God’s Word, it will require putting off things that would distract and entertain me, rather than what is most needful for me! It’s hard to study the Scriptures! But do you know what else is hard? Living your life ignorant of God’s principles because you never studied His Word! What legitimate reason do I have for not studying Scripture? It comes down to choosing which hard I want to live with.

Praying is hard.

James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

The effectual fervent prayer referenced here does not describe lifeless, empty prayer. Rather it would be described as energetic, earnest, sincere, and hearty prayer! This kind of prayer requires laboring in the presence of the Lord. Genuinely and authentically begging God for the requests and needs that are a burden on your heart. This kind of prayer is hard work. But do you know what else is hard work? Living life without prayer and trying to take on everyday in your own power and strength. Which hard will you choose?

The Christian life is hard.

Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time arenot worthy to be comparedwith the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

There are tough days, even for the Christian. We live in a sin-cursed world and are acquainted with sorrow and grief. During hard times, we are tempted to give in and give up. We are quick to look up toward Heaven and question His goodness rather than thank Him for His mercy. We are prone to focus on the here and now and forgot the hereafter. But we must remember the challenge of Romans 8:18. Yes, tough days will be part of our story. But the tough days are not  the final chapter of our story. When we think there’s no hope, we must remember that Heaven awaits! We will live with our Father forever, and while this life is hard, it is worth it to endure, because there’s no comparison with what is waiting for us in Glory!

The choice is up to you. Choose your hard.