We have this thinking that life should be easy, everyone should like us, and we certainly should prosper.
Yes, being a Christian comes with countless blessings. We will have some (probably few) intimate relationships ordained by God, and He will supply all of our needs; BUT we will suffer.
We will suffer. Life is absolutely a battle.
In order to win, there are a few things that we must acknowledge and fully accept:
1. Life is absolutely a battle.
2. Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy us and everything that we have.
3. We have the victory through Christ.
4. God will never, ever set us up for failure.
If we can get this, we will be encouraged and will have the right attitude for battle. We first though have to accept that life is a battle. It was never designed to be a walk in the park. Jesus’s life was not a walk in the park. Why do we think that ours should be? Probably because the world has fed us lies of riches, fame, and everything glamorous.
Well, in case you haven’t already accepted it: Life isn’t always glamorous. Now, don’t take me wrong. I’m not saying that we should only expect to suffer in life. There are many, many reasons to follow Christ.
Check these out:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
God is a rewarder.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” – Psalm 37:4
God is a provider.
God will always provide, but we have to grow to understand that life is not always about receiving. Life is also about sacrificing, giving, enduring.
Look at the life of Jesus.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hid their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” – Isaiah 53:3
Jesus is the ultimate role model. He suffered to show us how to suffer. He could have easily supernaturally saved us. Yet He chose to wrap Himself in flesh, feel it, and walk it out. He was pierced for us, He was bruised for us, He bled for us.
He felt it all.
He endured to show us that while it may not be easy, we too can do it. We must keep going forward in Christ. It will be worth it. He promises us it will be worth it, and as I sit and write this I’m encouraged more and more that it will be worth it.
“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” – Mark 10:29-30
No matter what, follow Christ. Expect persecution. Don’t give up. Endure and expect your reward- both on earth and in heaven.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” – Hebrews 12:2-3