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Published on June 4th, 2007 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Do Hard Things: Prayer, Ideas, and Participation




Alex and Brett Harris are writing a book.As you know, Brett and I are currently writing a book with Multnomah Publishers called Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. We are so excited about this book. It is going to communicate the message and ideas of the Rebelution with a depth and clarity greater than ever before.

We’ll be working on the book from now through November, with most of the writing taking place over the next three months. Our prayer is that God will use it to make a wide and lasting impact on our generation, but we need your help.

First, we need your prayers. Writing this book is the hardest thing we’ve ever done. Simultaneously writing the book, holding our conferences, and running the website is even harder. We need God’s strength to do this and to do it well.

If you would like to pray for us, please consider joining our Prayer Team. Just send an email to info [at] therebelution.com with the subject ‘Add to Prayer Team’. We will be sending out updates with specific prayer needs and requests. We’d be honored for you to partner with us in this way.

Second, we need your stories and ideas. Right now there is a lively discussion going on in the Forum on what makes something hard. But we want input from all of the rebelutionaries, not just members of the Forum. How would you define “hard things”? What do all hard things have in common? Can something be difficult (e.g. climbing a rock wall) but not really be a hard thing? If so, what’s the difference?

Here’s another question: Why do hard things? How is it rational for us to do things that are difficult or that we don’t enjoy? Are we just such suckers for pain that we want to keep ourselves perpetually miserable? Why do you do hard things and why would you encourage other people to do hard things too?

As much as possible, try to use examples from your own life and the lives of others to illustrate your point. You can post your thoughts as a comment or email them to us at info [at] therebelution.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Finally, we need your participation. We’re still working out the details, but the Rebelution Tour for 2007 is a special opportunity for you to help craft a message to your generation. Through state-of-the-art Audience Response Technology at all four conferences, certain “TBA” activities, and between-session interaction, we’re looking to especially involve conference attendees in the book-writing process.

Your involvement in any one of these three areas is deeply appreciated. Brett and I are so blessed and humbled by how good God is. He is working in and through our generation. By His grace, all of us get to be a part of it. Incredible.

Soli deo gloria!












About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Jamie

    i think hard things are tasks and even attitudes that take extra will power, strength, and perseverence to achieve. these are things that normal people dont everyday do.
    difference between hard and difficult? i think difficult is more brain power.
    why do hard things? It is what sets us above others but we have to make sure we have the right motives. like in softball workouts – do i do the easy thing of just slacking off and doing what everyone else does, or do i give it my all even though it may hurt physically. also, Jesus is our perfect example and what he did was hard, also we are called to be perfect as he was perfect.. thats the hardest thing of all because of our nature.
    …just brainstorming thoughts

  • Ariana

    Hard things challenge us in new ways and help us grow and mature as individuals. I think they are life changing and character forming events (or just things) that vary from person to person. What is hard for one person may not be hard for another. I think we have to want to try to enhance our good qualities (those things that make us favorable in the eyes of the Lord). I don’t think we would attempt to do hard things unless we see some kind of benefit or positve outcome; whether it is for us personally, for someone we love, or most importantly to glorify God…But that is just my opinion.

  • I added my two cents in the 2 forum threads…and am holding you guys in my prayers.
    Way to do a hard thing!

    ~Lady Tai

  • Brett and Alex,

    When I think of “Do Hard Things” the following excerpt from Rainier Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” springs to mind:

    “…Most people have (with the help of conventions) turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself, tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.

    It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation…”

    You can read more here.

    I don’t know if it’s what you’re after, exactly–I don’t know if you would consider Rilke, or Modernism in general, to be Rebelutionary, but I personally have found great truth in Rilke’s letters.

  • Today I faced a hard thing. I was with my graduating class at Disneyland, and the four girls I was with (non-Christians) wanted to use the Fast Passes we had for later right then… In other words, they wanted to trick the empolyees out. I was faced with a decision between intergrity- doing what God would approve of- or popularity- assuring the the fact I have friends. As we neared the gate, my heart was poudning and my mind raced in prayer. I prayed that I might make the right choice if needed, but instead that the employees would catch me friends. It was a difficult decision for me. I knew the answer. But God protected my friendship and my integrity- He caught my friends. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to make a choice, but while that probably isn’t the best thing to be thankful for (seeing as I didn’t want to do another hard thing), I still wonder, “What would I have done? Would I have risked my friendships which are so fragile right now? Would I have given up my integrity just to have some easy fun?” It’s definately a question to think about. While the circumstances were not life-or-death, it’s really the attitude of my heart that counts in this one- whether it be for truth or deception.

  • I think one of the hardest things is to do the right thing when no one else can see or will ever know. Then it’s down to the wire, down to your heart’s barest motive: are you doing this because God is trustworthy and sufficient, or not? That’s all there is left now.

    Way to go on writing the book. This is a much-needed message, and I can’t wait to read it.

  • Jessee

    Hard Things- Anything that opposes the natural self

  • MK

    I’ve usually thought of “hard things” in my life as risk-taking. I’m a fairly cautious person, so it’s pretty easy for me to stay in my comfort zone. In highschool the risks I’ve taken have been all kinds of things that I wasn’t completely comfortable with: theatre classes, helping with a fundraiser, volunteering in the kitchen at a summer camp, being in a play, interviewing for college scholarships, singing in front of people – all of these things were challenges for me. But most turned out to be enjoyable. They were rewarding because they made it easier the next time. I could look back at the last risk I took and say, “It was hard, but I have more skills now, I’m more confident now. I’ve grown as a person through that experience – so it’s definately worth trying again!”

    I hope that helps!

  • I have been and will be constantly praying for this project. Please do make the book available even here in Asia.

    I am a descendent of a long line (or a whole clan, to put it more accurately) of full-time ministers. My parents raised me up with high expectations, and I have been the youngest camp pianist, camp chief officer, pulpit translator, and BS leader in our church. These things, though quite beyond my age, are not exactly “hard things” for me, however, since they are very natural for someone raised with such a background.

    The challenge for me is to go beyond all of these things and to do what is truly hard for me. For me, I realize that even if the people around me all think that I am almost a prodigy, God still expects more from me. It is His standards that matter.

    I look forward to reading this book and sharing it with all my friends and “disciplets” :)

  • ColeC

    Hard things for me have always meant delayed gratification. Obeying the Holy Spirit and denying the flesh is painful, but requires a simple easy act…surrendering – letting go and letting God – resting in His finished work. We make it a burdensome act when we don’t fully surrender, or make following Christ a work of the flesh.

    ‘Hard things’ smell like burning flesh. The Spirit is contrary to the flesh and the flesh contrary to the Spirit. Contrary means hard, painful; it’s the horse that fights the bit or the dog that pulls against the leash. An act that is ‘contrary’ is an act that fights. His yoke is easy, but it can be painful if we’re constantly fighting against it and choosing the yoke of our enemy. His burden is light, but when we choose another burden we become weary and heavy laden. Nevertheless, our old ‘natural’ way of living is hard to let go of, and thus our decision to follow Christ is painful.

    However, it’s difficult for us western Christians to associate pain when choosing Christ, accept those that are self-inflicted or emotional. Christians everywhere else suffer extreme emotional AND extreme physical persecution when becoming Christians. Yes, we suffer, especially through rejection, when we choose Christ, choose abstinence, choose a different apparel, choose to speak and act honorably, choose to homeschool, choose to court instead of date, etc. But these ‘hardships’ have the following characteristics: (1) they are bearable when we recognize that the world is rejecting Christ not us, (2) they are not worthy of comparison to those of say, a Muslim convert in Iran, (3) and that they’re also not worthy of being compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.

  • jon

    Alex and Brett,

    I’ve never posted here before…but I have thouroughly enjoyed your site (have recomended it to others) and your insights. I’m grateful for your challenge to “do hard things” to our generation so tempted by the idols of ease and cravings of self-centered living. I have one question, entirely for my own further enjoyment of your work and ministry: How does your “do hard things” motto relate to or derive from the gospel?

    Jon

  • Sarah

    Alex and Brett.

    I want to ditto Jon’s question. I too would love to hear exactly how you and your exemplary insights tie together and define “do hard things” in a gospel-centered way. Thank you both for being such a provoking and encouraging example to me and many of my peers. Oh and btw – I enjoyed immensely catching glimpses of you guys just being normal guys at Na… that served my soul, which unfortunately all too easily slips into that “blow you off as prodigies and therefore never humbly receive your wisdom and enjoy your reflection of our Savior” mindset :) Can’t wait to be stirred up and built up by you guys’ hard work and diligent seeking of the Holy Spirit’s aid and empowerment in your book. Good stuff!

    Thanks for so clearly stating that question, Jon. I’ve never quite been able to organize my words enough to make that question worthwhile, but that’s exactly what I wanted to say.

    Sarah

  • GraceEC

    To me difficult things are thing that are physically or emotionally challanging, whereas hard things are the things that are spiritually challanging. For example, the cultural idea that teens are allowed to live only for themselves is a very easy thing to do because it is pandering to the sinful nature. Whereas living for God at any time is impossibly hard, without divine intervention, as it is living against our very nature.

  • I’m reading an excellent book called The New Friars by Scott A. Bessenecker. In it is a quote that to me answers the question ” why do we do hard things?”….

    “Vows are practically unheard of in twenty-first-century Western society. Marriage vows are about all we have left, and they’re not holding up too well. Many people are begging someone to set the bar higher, to call them to uncommon levels of commitment and devotion.”
    —The New Friars, Scott A. Bessenecker

    I’m not a Rebelutionary, but it seems to me that the reason Christians in general “do hard things” is not just for the sake of the hard thing itself, but because we are called to a higher standard.

  • Kaisha Thomas

    Most of the hard things that pop up in my life are the little tiny day-to-day things. Like being cheerful and helpful even when I’m tired and grumpy, responding sweetly to my siblings when they annoy me, keeping on task and not wasting little moments throughout my day. It seems like I shouldn’t have to work on that stuff, and that I should find it easy, but I don’t, and it takes work to learn to overcome that little rise of anger and keeping it from becoming full blown.

    Bigger hard things mostly come in the form of getting out of my comfort zone, which can be pretty small.

    It’s easy to forget that I have the power that raised Christ from the dead in me.

    Can’t wait for the book to come out! I’ll be praying for you guys!

  • I’d love to share this on Real Teen Faith. We’d also love to review the book once it’s out on the shelves.

    T. Suzanne Eller
    http://realteenfaith.com

  • I think the hardest thing- for me anyway- is sharing about Jesus to others. It’s difficult to share your faith.

  • Sarah Schmidt

    Doing hard things to “do hard things” is not the reason that Christians need to “do hard things.” The first question that we must do is to ask God if HE wants us to do whatever the hard thing is. If we are compelled by the Holy Spirit and have prayed about it and know that God is telling us to do this hard thing, then obedience is absolutely a must.
    The next quesiton of “why do hard things” must be answered. I have struggled with my faith so much in this area. Obedience to God is a hard thing in itself. My fear of rejection and failure and imperfection keeps me from doing hard things. Yet the parable of the talents is a great truth that reveals the harm of NOT doing hard things (or anything!) for God. Doing hard things requires trust and love and absolute FAITH in God. When I am tempted to not obey God in something small, such as apologizing for something I did or gossiping, I am reminded that if I do not obey God in this, God will NOT trust me with hard things. My faith is endangered because I chose to say no to God. In result, my relationship with Christ suffers, and I cannot further His kingdom. Why do hard things? Hard things for Christ strengthens faith and love and trust in our Savior.

  • Megan

    I think that doing hard things require a willingness to sacrifice. True sacrifice gives up something good, for the reward of something better. Choosing the better thing usually involves obedience to the Lord, and blessing the lives of those around us. It is not selfish, it is caring.

  • Bekah

    “Do Hard Things.” Sometimes that means doing the exact opposite of what everyone else in our generation is doing. Sometimes it means choosing to rise above the low standards our society sets for us. Sometimes it means doing something that is outside of our comfort zone. I believe that “Do Hard Things” for a Christian teen means living for God in the midst of a society that does not. God is not looking for a generation of teens who are normal; He is looking for a generation of teens who are willing to be different and do hard things…for Him.
    In my life, doing hard things helps me grow and shapes me into a better, stronger individual. An example of a “hard thing” I conquered is public speaking. For years, I dreaded talking in front of people and avoided it at all costs. However, through taking a speech class this year, I not only conquered my fear of public speaking, but actually started to enjoy it! I started competing in speech and forensics earlier this year and ended up qualifying for my league’s National Championship!
    Through competing, I have become a better, more effective communicator, I have learned to defend my faith, I have conquered my fear of public speaking, and I have met numerous friends that I am very close to. Plus, I have the enormous honor of representing my state at Nationals!
    So, in conclusion, it is hard to do hard things…but hard things are definitely worth doing!

  • Alyssa L.

    What are hard things? The things you should be doing right now but you aren’t. The things you want to do but just can’t will to do–I know from experience that there is a difference. The definition of hard things changes with different people–for a depressed person, just getting out of bed in the morning might be hard. I’m thinking of that verse in Luke, “to whom much is given…much is required.” Well as a homeschooler and a child of very godly parents, I have definitely been given much. So what am I doing w/ all that? Am I just resting on my laurels–most of which I did not earn? That verse makes me squirm…but it also reminds me I need to do more than just lazily sail through life. I guess another definition of a hard thing–something that you would not normally do, but because of Jesus’ call you will do.

  • Alyssa L.

    oh, so glad you guys are writing a book! Keep persevering despite your tough schedule. I’ll be praying.

  • I am definitely buying your book as soon as it comes out! Your blog is so inspirational and challenging – and I love reading all the comments, too.
    Now for your questions: For me, doing hard things is especially difficult when they stand right in the way of something I want. Like when I’m snuggled up with a really good book, and my mom calls me to change laundry loads or unload the dishwasher. Or maybe when I know that I’d be a whole lot cooler if I used words my parents didn’t like or gossiped all the time or had three hundred guys wrapped around my finger. The temptation to have friends and fit in sometimes outweighs my desires to be godly, and that’s when I have to “do a hard thing” and step away from the crowd. (That hurts – I’m a middle child and I love to just float along with the group)

  • Jess

    Hi Brett and Alex!
    I’m 18 years old and, though not a regular on the site, thought I would comment on this.
    From my relationship with my boyfriend, I can see the way doing hard things really helps us to keep each other pure and our relationship focused on God. This particularly applies in the area of physical temptation. One night we were messing around and I punched him in the stomach. He said, “Ow, that was really hard”. I said, “Oh, I’m sorry…. I didn’t realise it would hurt that much”. He said, “Next time we’re struggling, you could punch me like that”. I said, “But that would hurt!”. He replied, “If it causes me to sin, cut it off (refering to Jesus’ comments about cutting off our hands or plucking out our eyes)”. We have found other ways to “do hard things” in our relationship, such as leaving the room at even a hint of sexual immorality, not sitting on the same couch if it’s only us in the room and generally being more honest about “dangerous” moments. These things sometimes inhibit conversation….they make us feel awkward, but we know its worth it to show our love for each other and for God.
    I would like to make another comment on “doing hard things”. I will refer to Collosians 2:20-23. Paul talks to people who follow rules because it makes them look more righteous…and he says that these things have no value. I think it’s tempting (particularly in Christian circles) to do these hard things because they make us seem more ‘Christian’. Have you ever caught yourself telling people about how you’re not going to date for a year? I know I have. And, while I had good reasons for not dating, I really only told people so they could tell me how great I was. My point is: please, oh please allow God to examine your hearts for why you are “doing hard things”, or you may still be falling to the prideful ways of the world. By the way, In that Collosians passage, Paul goes on to tell us what we SHOULD do, and I’d say its worth checking out.
    Thanks!

  • Bekah

    What happens when you fail at doing hard things? I know for me personally there have been many times when I’ve tried so hard at something and it doesn’t seem to make any difference. Sometimes I try to do a hard thing and succeed (I shared the story earlier of conquering my fear of public speaking.) But other times, I fail and wonder, “What’s the point in trying?”
    One of my favorite quotes about doing hard things is by Theodore Roosevelt: “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
    I believe many people avoid doing hard things because they are afraid they will fail. It often seems easier not to try to do something than to try and fail. John Ortberg confronts this idea while talking about Peter’s failed attempt at walking on water. He writes in his book “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” : “Peter failed. But I think there were 11 bigger failures sitting in the boat. The worst failure is not to sink in the waves. The worst failure is to never get out of the boat.” Sometimes when we do hard things, we fail. But, we must remember it is better to fail while daring greatly than to never dare at all.
    As followers of Christ in this generation, we CANNOT be sucked into complacency. We CANNOT live as the rest of the world lives. We CANNOT be satified with the status quo. We must live for more than our comfort; we must live for Christ. Living for Jesus is a “hard thing” to do, and we can’t do it on our own. And we shouldn’t do it to make ourselves look good. We should live for Jesus because we love Him and want to please Him. And when we fail at hard things, we must not become discouraged. Rather, let’s get back up and try again…with God’s help.

  • Great thoughts, Bekah. We love Theodore Roosevelt and what he has to say about doing hard things. You might also want to check out Brett’s post, When You Fail At Hard Things. It gives some additional reasons for why it’s worth doing hard things, even when we fail.

  • well…one of the ‘hard things’ for this generation is being different. Being set apart from this world of sin. We have this mentality that we should be part of this world…that we should fit in…that we should be like everyone else just because its the ‘norm’ of this world. But God has told us that we should go away from them (world) that we should be set apart for his Glory and Honor. I may be speaking too generally on a whole lot of topics, but this is what i can really say that is hard. To be set apart for God. To be different from this world. To be different from the norm. To be different for God.

    And to do that, we must be the light of the world, the salt. A person that really stands out from this world labeled pure and holy. Simply seen as a person covered with JESUS all over.

    hope i made my point a bit clear. I’ll be praying for you guys! Be blessed as you continue to bless others!! Thanks!

  • Stephanie Amber

    Doing hard things — my goodness, so many people have so many different views, but I would say that doing something hard is when we are fighting our flesh and when God is after something in our hearts. Doing hard things often can seem imposible, but I think often we forget that God is there to help us and is asking us to do hard things to grow us and also because He loves us. That is just my personal opinion. If any of this didn’t make sense and you have questions about it, feel free to ask. :-)

    Alex and Brett — As God brings you to mind, I will be praying for you both. :-)

  • David Daniel

    I believe many people avoid doing hard things because they are afraid they will fail.

    I don’t think so, I think most people don’t want to do hard things because they are afraid of the cost, they don’t want to give up certain things.

  • Ruth

    I cannot wait for the book to come out. Way to go!

  • Carly

    tough subject, in my opinion at least. i think we face hard things every day, but can easily overcome some of them with God’s help. there are different levels of hard things.God gives opportunities to do hard things, to better ourselves( in which ever way that may be), but we ourselves have to make the choice to push ourselves to do it. to say to ourselves “hey, this is hard, but i’m going to do it, because it’s going to help me” to say ” God please help me through this and help me be strong so i CAN get through this.” God gives us the chances, all we have to do is take them. :)

  • Hi Alex and Brett,

    Thanks for letting us be apart of you book and drawing off of us for inspiration.

    My defination of hard things is something that you struggle with inside your heart and soul. It is something when you must way the pro’s and con’s very carefully and decide it it would be something that God would be proud of.
    You asked us to use our personal stories… and this one is very personal…..

    In my life I have faced many hard things… in twenty four days it will be one year since the last time I cut myself. Stopping was a very hard thing for me to do. It was a very hard decision I had to make. But ultimately I stopped because I knew it was bad for me and I didn’t want to keep on hurting myself. (btw, this was before I was “saved”) I was going through a difficult time in my life, and that is NO EXCUSE!!!!

    Anyways, That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. And even now I still struggle with it. But by remembering that God loves me and cares about me enough to send His only son to die for us, that REALLY helps me!!!

    But I would say that hard things are when you are faced with a choice or decision to do something that will change your life forever, possibly make you lose friends, or remove you from your comfort zone.

    To answer your question of why we do hard things…. I think its because we want to honor and to glorify God (atleast that is the reason why we SHOULD be doing it) but most of the time, and correct me if I’m wrong, but its because we want recognition for the good deeds that we’ve done.

    I mean yes, I personally, wanted somekind of positive recognition b/c I stopped cutting. I really didn’t get it though…. unless you count a few of my friends.. my parents don’t know.

    But the best part of doing something hard, sacrificing something is just to know that you truely did it out of the kindness of your heart because you didn’t expect any recognition for it at all. And that is the best!!!!!

    Anyways, I really hope that this helps you all out. It is probably not what you expected… but still….hope someone gets something out of it. And if there is anyone reading this who cuts themselves……. the best advice I can ever give you is to STOP!!!! Nothing good can come from it! I promise you this.

    Now to deal with my mispalced emotions…I write poetry! It saved my life. that and of course God!! But anyways, p;ease trust me on this one, NEVER start and if you have… STOP.

    Love, Emily

    ps
    Alex & Brett, keep up the great work! and i’m praying for you guys! keep on blessing others and you will continue to be blessed yourselves!

  • Stephanie Erin

    Here’s a quote for you guys from Euripides. He said, “Do not consider painful what is good for you.” A hard thing is painful, and it often requires some sort of sacrifice from the person doing the hard thing, such as stepping out of a comfort zone or giving up a habit. The important thing is to look at it not as pain or a difficult sacrifice, but as a blessing that will benefit you in the long run. Praise the Lord for the hard thing He has allowed you to be a part of, for through it, growth occurs. No pain, no gain!

  • Laura W.

    Alex and Bret,

    I found out about your blog through World magazine, and I’d like to thank you for putting all the time and effort into it. It has been encouraging to be reminded again that there are still people who are willing to do hard things for the glory of God. It’s great that you’re writing a book, and if it’s anywhere near as good as what I’ve seen on your blog, I want to get a copy when you finish it. I’ll be praying for you!

    I would say that something is “difficult” to accomplish if it is near the edge of what you are capable of, either physically or mentally. If something is “hard” in the sense you use, I think that oftentimes it is something you are perfectly capable of doing, but it takes a lot of effort to just do it.

    For example: for most people, reading their Bible is not difficult; they can read without any trouble, and their Bible may be sitting right next to them. However, it can sometimes be hard to actually do it. Maybe we just don’t “feel like it”, or maybe we’d much rather be reading that other book we just started. Most of the time, a thing is hard because it is directly opposite to what our sinful nature wants.

    I also think that a thing can be difficult without being hard. Most people like a good challenge. Getting past an especially tricky level on a video game can be very difficult, but I doubt you would classify it as a “hard thing”.

  • mo

    just a short quote on hard things.
    my dad continually tells us that “If it don’t hurt or taste bad, it don’t do you no good.” now, everything comfortable and delicious is not bad for you, =) but it is the uncomfortable and distastful things that cause growth.
    thanks so much for your encouragment to ‘do hard things’. this phrase rings in my ears when i’m tempted to take the easy road.

  • Hi I’m from New Zealand. I’m 14. I think we have to do hard things because if we take the quick and easy way to everything we will feel like we didn’t do our best .Example when I do the lawns, if I did half of it neat and half of it messy I will have let myself down on the inside.Also if I go to a shop and there’s some rude photos on the cd’s there and I walk past them and I look, inside I know I shouldn’t. Its hard not to look but I know that in the end I will have done myself a favour. (Feel free to give me feed back if you think this is good.)

  • Lisa

    As a mother discipling two teens, I see ‘hard’ for myself and for them as whatever takes me beyond the limits I have set on the strength and ability God has given me–my expectations. It is an ongoing process of having my expectations continually expanded and the only way I have experienced that expansion, is by accepting the risks and challenges and adventure that come with Christ. He is demanding. Still, it is a wondrous adventure.

  • Trevor

    This is a really good topic and I can’t describe how much I have had to face it. Unlike you guys (Alex and Brett), I go to a public school, and it is easy to be tempted to do something ungodly because of all the peer pressure. I have on friend, who is Christian and when we walk around the track at the back of the school we start talking. We talk about our faith, our beliefs, everything. It takes a lot of humility to take a stand at the image of most teenagers today. I’ll keep you guys in my prayers.

  • well i love what your doing . the good part is your doing it for god.

  • Kandice

    I think that there are really only two things that are a the root of hard times and problems.
    1.God gives us hard times to make us stonger. Some of us would ask why, when we really should ask, “God, how can I rely on you more?” or “What can I do better for You and for Your glory?”
    I think that the real problem is that we tend to focus on our problem, rather than focusing on God and relying on Him for our strength in our time of weakness.
    We all fail at one thing or another, but God wants to help us pick up the pieces of the puzzle, that we call life.
    2. The second reason that we have hard times is when we reject God. When you eliminate God out of your life you are empty and in the dark. We need His light to help us or we stumble in the dark and have no way of escape. (See Psalms 119:105) We need God and His word to guide us and to help us through tough times.
    No matter how good life get there will always be tough times, but have faith and stand stong with God, Love and Serve Him with all that you have (no matter how much or how little) and let your focus be on Him. God will help you if you obey and serve Him.

    Praying for you guys! Keep up the great work! Thanks for you blog. I love it and so do a couple of my friends! God bless you and your work.

  • Brittany

    I just attended the Rebelution conference in Greenwood, IN. It was the most awesome thing i have ever been to! You guys are so amazing! I wish i could know some people that are as much into God as you two are. God has really blessed your whole family with a wonderful gift of spreading God’s messages to other people. I read Josh’s “I kissed dating goodbye” book all the time. My grandma and I have meetings on the book with a couple of our freinds. Not a lot of people are interested in these kinds of things. so it’s up to us to spread the word. I just wanted to thank you guys for standing up for all of us Christians out there. The Rebelution really made me think about a lot of things I was having trouble with in my life. I can’t say thank you enough. My younger brother is thirteen years old and is having a very hard time. He got his shirt signed by both Brett and Alex. He had such a good time. He talks about you two everyday! But my mom accidentally washed the names off so he was pretty upset. But the rebelution really helped him and that was the first time in a long time that i have seen him have so much fun. I can’t say thank you enough. God Bless you and your family.

  • Jordan Y

    Hard things…
    Yes, we can do things we don’t particularly like, for instance a chore or two… maybe some homework. You fill in the blank. But the truly hard thing about doing hard things is your attitude while doing those things. Doing something while complaining about it isn’t all that hard. Your heart is what matters. Before Jesus came to this earth and died for our sins, all the jews had was the law. All they had to do was obey the law. When Jesus came, he focused on yes, obeying the commandments, following rules, but those not so much as your heart. Jesus focused on your heart when doing those hard things. The hard thing to do is to do those things you don’t like while being cheerful about it and truly serving with the right heart. Anybody can do something they don’t want to do. Few can do it with joy.

  • Mollie M

    OK, one thing that I find hard is pursuing leadership, while also seeking to live out my God-given roles. In my youth group, the girls are repeatedly characterized by their eagerness to serve and their eagerness to initiate. Frankly, girls are often given a task because we tend to be more efficient, creative, able to multitask, etc. We use the excuse of “Well if nobody else is stepping up and if we can get this task done better and faster-then it’s good that we’re putting ourselves in these roles of leadership.” It’s a difficult struggle allowing the guys to lead around us when we don’t like relinquishing the reins of control. I think just as men need to be urging themselves to step up more, we as women have to be reminding ourselves to be willing to step down more- to ask our Savior to help us in showing respect and deference to our brothers. To seek ways to encourage and support our brothers as they attempt to lead (even if they do go about in ways different from our own- that’s OK!) It’s not easy breaking out of the cultural norm and returning to God’s perfect plan for us, but it’s not right settling for anything less. A hard thing for me, is anything that causes me to relinquish what I want for what God wills. Anything that forces me to swap my agenda with His. Yet God hasn’t called us to an easy life…His Son died on the cross for us…and if we are believers we are called to “deny ourselves, pick up our crosses daily and follow Him.” Often the decisions that are hard for us to make now, that cause us to make sacrifices now…are what are equally wonderful later on and are what accrue for us treasures in heaven for all of eternity. I think hard things will always be a struggle, unless we seek to apply the right perspective (the hardest temporal sacrifices we will have to make now often secure for us our richest eternal blessings later on) and unless we too ask for the grace to pray “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.” It reminds me of one of Randy Alcorn’s books, similar to Pilgrim’s Progress. While we as Christians must and will pick up rocks along life’s pathway (trials/difficulties) and must lug these heavy weights upon our shoulders- when we arrive in heaven, we will see them as the Lord sees them (and for what they really were): not filthy, burdensome rocks but precious, priceless treasures.

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