Fighting Through Many Difficulties

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We often believe that things should be easier than they are. This leaning of our hearts is made worse by the constant bombardment from the media telling us that our lives are too hard and if we buy what they are selling then our lives will be easier.The basic presupposition in the news and media is that we all deserve to be wealthy, well-fed, healthy, and happy. This assumption is so ingrained in our thinking that it is rarely challenged. While we may mock Joel Osteen we all think like him. We expect God to give us “Our Best Life Now.” When God gives us difficulties and hardships we groan and rebel crying, “This is not how it is supposed to be.”

Christians should know better. Our Lord’s life was not easy. We are called to a daily death (Luke 9:23). We are to embrace this death looking to the joy set before us (Hebrews 12:2). We are to pour ourselves out for others, whether that is children, spouses, flocks, or neighbors. As believers we should expect things to be hard. But this is not enough. If we bear our burdens, trials, and difficulties like melancholy martyrs led to the stake, then we have missed the Gospel. The Gospel says to die is to live and to be poured out is to be gathered back up again. This means the difficulties of life are not burdens, but rather treasures. Jesus tells us to rejoice in persecution (Matthew 5:11-12). Paul tells us in Romans 8:18 that our sufferings do not compare to the coming glory.  When Christ calls us to our daily cross let us go with singing and joy remembering that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Cor. 15:58). This is not an encouragement to pretend that pain is not pain and hard things are not hard. Things are hard and it is okay to say so. Just read the Psalms. But it is an encouragement to remember that glory comes through death. Too many Christians think glory comes through making their life easy and comfortable. They assume that if things are hard then something is wrong.  Continue reading