​Today's  Devotional                                                                                     

Thick Skin Stand Off

John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Chuck, my husband, has calluses on his feet.  Gross.  I know.  They sure are ugly, but he needs them.  When he was born his feet were smooth and tender just like the rest of us, yet somewhere along the way his sweet pink skin gave way to thick rough skin.  Callouses have developed over the years from constant friction and pressure.  What used to hurt his feet does not hurt them anymore. Physically, it’s a good deal.

Is having a thick skin good spiritually? I am not going to bock for or against the phrase, “Have a thick skin,” because I know it has its place, but I am going to challenge it for the sake of considering the goodness of God.
The phrase implies whenever friction and pressure enter our lives we need to head it off. We need to grow a thick skin in effort to not let it affect us too much.  We need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and keep on moving and shaking.  It implies that we can somehow avoid battle wounds and make it through difficulties unscathed.  It is as if we are putting on an emotional armor to front the battle alone. The Bible does not teach that; we are never alone and do not have to engage in friction and pressures of life alone.
Consider how the Bible is full of promptings and commands of what to do when life drags us through rocky terrain.  Below are a few verses to glean from.

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”
Ephesians 6:13-18, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”


Each of these verses teach us to go straight to God when difficulties arise.
We alone do not have to front it. We may have armor for battle, but it is to stand and not to fight, because the battle is the LORD’s. Mostly, these scriptures remind us that in the midst of life’s pressures we can have peace, not calluses.
 Our part is to come to Him and obey these commands.  He takes care of us through and through.  We are assured that there will be trouble; you have lived on this earth long enough to know that is true.  Life can knock us flat and leave us breathless at times.  Let us consider, even if we feel TKO’d (totally knocked out) becuase of rocky roads, after we come to Him in obedience, there are blessings for us above and beyond.  We can relish in rest, peace, faith, and protection- especially spiritual protection.  You also have God’s truth, God’s righteousness, God’s gospel, God’s salvation, and God’s Spirit at work in you.  These verses do not lead us to think we have to grow a thick skin and go it alone.  As long as you are diligently walking with and obeying God you have nothing to fear.  On the contrary, you will make it through with God’s assurance in hand.
Do this with me, the next time we find ourselves in a situation that feels like it requires a thick skin, think twice and remember who our God is and how He leads us.  When we seek and obey Him in this way, we might learn His promises even apply to us!  Praise our mighty God!

by Andrea Simmons 9.13.18

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