Are you a person who expects the Christian life to be an easy one? I think many people who get saved through the “Ask Jesus into your heart” method are led to believe that upon doing so their lives will “be better.”
They think that life will no longer have the trials and troubles ascribed to other people and that somehow God will magically make all their problems and woes disappear. When the glow of being saved wears off and their thoughts return to all the issues of life that have been there all along but they have managed to ignore, they become very disillusioned with their new found faith.
Jesus spoke of this in the Parable of the Soils
“The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. Matthew 13:20-21 (NASB)
The persecution or trials do not have to be related to the Word of God, but can be mere issues of daily life such as relationship problems, debt, or health problems. Their foundations of faith are very shallow as they have only heard a portion of the Gospel. There is little to no understanding that our trials and hardships are designed by a loving God who intends to use them to change us into the image and likeness of His Son.
So rather than responding by searching for deeper truth and developing a greater faith through it many determine that God “doesn’t work for me.” Their new-found faith is cast aside like yesterdays newspaper and they move on to the next thing in their spiritual journey. Unfortunately, there are many other things to choose from in this present age…none of them true but cross centered Christianity.
The Christian life was never intended to be easy! It was never meant to be a casual stroll through life, but rather a life long marathon full of steep mountain climbs and descents into deep valleys and long stretches of plains and miles of dense forests. It demands endurance and fortitude. It requires faith and dedication and is not for the easy believer who wants to simply be in the church club.
There was a reason Jesus told those who wished to follow Him that they would have to take up their cross daily (Matt.16:24)! Because the life of a Christian is one of self-denial, self-sacrifice, emptying of self and service. This is in complete contrast to what the world preaches to us every day of our lives.
There is no I in the word others. There is no I in the word Jesus. None of this comes easy to even the most mature Christian, but it does get better. Better in the sense that with time, as you continue to see the hand of your faithful Father reveal His will for you through your circumstances you will grow and change and slowly a transformation will take place. One day you will take a look at yourself from the inside out and find things residing there that were never there before and would not be there were it not for Jesus.
You will find that your trials have added to your faith.
These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:7 (NLT)
It is not easy, but well worth it.
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