DITW – Being a Christian is Not Easy – July 10, 2018

Date: 10 Jul 2018 Comments: 0

I wish that every day of my life I had a great story about how being a Christian made my life so much easier or better but if that was the case, I would not truly absorb the magnitude of grace. Unfortunately, many of the churches out there preach some derivative of the “Prosperity Gospel” where they talk all about the good stuff and not the bad. They (usually) have good intentions such as trying to build faith but I think that the times when life is the hardest yet we still maintain faith and joy are the times that build us up the most. In my reading, I found several verses that provide guidance on this. For instance, the prosperity gospel is nothing new, even Paul dealt with it as we find in second Timothy: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3, NLT. It’s easy to think that God wants us to be happy but that’s not always the case. What’s even more funny is how we somehow think that God owes us something because we are Christians or because we do this or that good thing but I think Job’s story shows us how silly expecting we are owed something from God is: “Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under Heaven is mine.” (Job 41:11, NLT) It’s true, if God gave us what we deserved, we’d all be dead in sin with no way out. But if we persevere, God will bless us in His time and His way just as he did later in Job but sometimes he expects us to start that conversation: “When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!” (Job 42:10, NLT). Perhaps it is the fact that we see the challenges we face as prisons that God has put us in because he does not like us but that’s part of why we don’t see our blessings in disguise. I would love to say that I could emulate Paul in Acts when the jails doors opened and they could have escaped (Acts 16:27-28, NLT) but they waited until God’s time and it served to make them all better and saved the lives of the jailer and his family among many others. We must keep our eyes on God’s future and timing and not ours, even when life is not as happy as we’d like. Proverbs reminds us that God still cares for us, despite our circumstances: “The Lord will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:3, NLT). I still have plenty of days where I wonder why God has not removed me from this desert place (emotionally and physically based off summer temps here) but I also know that the longer I persevere, the more powerful my faith and prayers become.

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