Wednesday, May 22, 2013

But it’s not hard to be a Christian

I read one of Pastor Adrian Rogers snippets about Christian life which goes like this:

I’ve heard it said so many times that it’s hard to be a Christian. Where did you get that? You didn’t get it out of the Word of God. It’s not hard to be a Christian.

Listen, the Bible says that “the way of the transgressor is hard” (Proverbs 13:15), but it’s not hard to be a Christian. I’m having a wonderful time serving the Lord Jesus.

You say, “You mean there’s no suffering?” There’s suffering in this world whether you’re saved or lost. You’re not going to get out unbent, unbloodied, or unbowed. But I want to tell you, there is joy in the Lord Jesus Christ; and Jesus is the One who makes the sufferings of this life worth it all.

I know some of you are carrying heavy loads of exhaustion. Free living might sound like a promise for other people, but not for you. Perhaps you are dealing with a constant strain in your life. God sees you, friend. He knows your struggles. He’s able to work out the details. Trust Him for strength and rest...whether He delivers you from the exhaustion or through it.

Sometimes our lives are like the science fair project. We invest in others and are eager to see the harvest. We obey God, trust His plan and walk according to His Word. We plant seeds into the soil of our marriages or dating relationships and water them with love, hope and truth. We plant seeds into the life-soil of our friends and co-workers and water them with loyalty, time and encouragement. As parents and grandparents we “grow” our children and our grandchildren. We water them with love, feed them with the Word. We water and we wait with great expectations in our hearts and a desire to see some growth. We long to see the fruit of our labor.

At times we see fruit.

Many times we see God working in our lives.

Sometimes we have to wait.

Sometimes, not only is God greater than to be held by any one place, he is also said to be in all places. The psalmist writes, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10). There is no place we can go to escape from the presence of God. For the believer, this is a most reassuring thing to know. No matter where we go, God knows where we are, and he watches over us. For the unbeliever, however, this is one of the most frustrating and angering ideas possible. Nothing they do is hidden from the Lord. God is always with us; either in a loving, caring way, or in a judging, wrathful way. God is everywhere!

It is important that we know the character of God, and honor and revere Him in our prayers, actions, and thoughts. God’s character is pure, holy, flawless, loving, compassionate, righteous, just, merciful, kind, long-suffering, honest, true, dependable, faithful, and understanding.

The more we know about God, the more we grow in fellowship with Him. This carries over into our prayers. Placing Him first and foremost in our minds keeps our focus on Him instead of on our needs and desires.

Throughout his ministry, Paul suffered disappointment and rejection at the hands of those he loved. But when people fail you it drives you into the arms of God. Being rejected by others can actually bring a greater intimacy with Him. When they stoned Paul and left him for dead, 'he got back up' and went on to greater things (Acts 14:19-20). Being rejected makes you lean on God like never before, because you've nowhere else to turn! In fact, at times like that, unless you hear from God, there's no other word of hope coming! When others reject you, God has a way of opening doors to new levels of blessing you'd otherwise miss.

Sometimes it seems as though everywhere we turn, there is an attack. There is temptation. There is a problem. There is an issue. But listen: God will give us the strength to get through.

Your greatest spiritual growth will generally result from your greatest trials. The Psalmist wrote: 'You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies [vindication]: you anoint my head with oil [daily empowerment]; my cup runs over [greater blessing]' (Psalms 23:5 NKJV). The truth is, without some pain and opposition, you wouldn't get to sit at God's table and enjoy His best.


Raj Kosaraju

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