February / March 2015 - Vol. 78

meditating by night, by Kevin
Wide and Easy for the Many, Narrow and Hard for a Few 
by Tom Caballes

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” 
Matthew 7:1314
Most of us like to live a life that is easy, convenient and pleasurable. We try to avoid pain, hardships and
troubles. Are we not supposed to enjoy life? The answer for this is yes – provided we are only looking at this life. But God has something much, much better in mind. He wants to share eternity with us.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? [Matthew 16:25-26].
God is asking us to ‘lose our life’ for Him, and that is why following God is hard. The gate that leads to Him is narrow. Are you one of the ‘few’ ones who are willing to walk through the narrow gate, where the way is hard? Do you know what will it cost? Are you willing to pay the price?

So how do we enter through the narrow gate?

  1. Life of discipleship is a cycle; there are good times, but there are also hard times. When God blesses us with good times, let us enjoy them. But let us not be surprised when difficulties come our way. Let us anticipate that they will come, and we need to face them with the resolve to overcome and ‘win.’
  2. God wants us to grow in character as we face challenges in life, and not just overcome them. These are some of the character traits we grow in as we face trials: endurance, forbearance, patience, faithfulness, perseverance, forgiveness, flexibility, and self-control. God also wants us to draw close to Him; the less independent we are, the more God-dependent we become. And maybe, that is the whole point of the challenge or trial we face – that we draw near to God and grow to be like Him.
  3. We need to have the mind of Christ as we face our difficulties. We need to ask: if Jesus were in my situation, what would He do? Also, what would He not do? What options would He consider? If we are not sure, it would be good to ask someone whom we trust what their thinking is about the situation.
  4. Hardships are meant to be temporary; we need to stand tall and never give up. We need to endure all types of hardships and persecutions. Even as we face hardships and trials, we are to rejoice and know that we will be victorious in the end. After all, all types of hardships are only temporary; one day, we will win the crown of life. Quitters never win, and winners never quit – especially in eternal matters.
  5. The narrow gate in this life [our challenges and trials] are meant to tell us one thing: we were never meant to be for this world only. We are citizens of heaven [Philippians 3:20], and we ought to long for our real home in heaven, where there will be no more “grief, crying, or pain…" [Revelations 21:4].

Other Scripture passages: 

  • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us. [Romans 8:18]
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. [James 1:2-4]
  • For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:17-18]
  • Other references: 1 Peter 1:3-8; James 1:12.

For personal reflection or group sharing

  1. Which gate do you think you are passing through in this life – the wide and easy one, or the narrow and hard one? Can you validate and prove it?

Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.


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