Have you ever thought about how “good and easy” being a Christian is depicted as? So often, when people share the Gospel, they say that the only thing needed to be done is “accept Christ into your heart and believe that He died for your sins, and rose again” and then “His Holy Spirit will immediately come into you and that your sins will be forgiven”; this is true, however, what people allude to when they present the Gospel this way is that everything is wonderfully easy and that most of your problems go away when you accept Christ. Do not misunderstand me, I do agree that Christ can and does make our lives a lot better; yet, many people forget that when we accept Christ all of the bad things in our life do not magically go away. Typically as followers of Christ we tend to focus only on the benefits of following Him: eternal life, forgiveness of sins, guidance of the Holy Spirit, etc. However true these things are about salvation, we tend to forget about the costs associated with discipleship. Paul puts it well when he reminds the Philippians that, “it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for his sake.” (Phil. 1:29, ESV) Paul blatantly states that we, as Disciples, are not simply here to only believe, but also to suffer. Jesus Himself even says, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b, ESV)
A relationship with Jesus Christ is not simply a fairytale where everything works out perfectly. There are costs associated with this journey; there will be painful instances, times of doubt, and seemingly unbearable moments. Nevertheless though, when it comes down to it, we have a loving God on our side whose biggest desire is to help us through these rough times in our life. He desires a relationship with us. He actually desires to hear about our day and to listen to our frustrations. Go ahead and tell him about what goes on in your day, what big decisions you need to make, and anything else that goes on in your life! After all, it is a relationship right? If we treat our salvation simply as “fire insurance” or a “free ticket out of Hell” then we are missing out on the joy of Discipleship and a wonderful relationship with our Creator. Most likely it will not be fun when we encounter trials throughout this journey. Yet, how you deal with these hard times is entirely up to you. Will it be with bitterness, doubt, and anger, or acceptance, faith and joy?
My hope is that it’s the latter three and not the former. I pray that you enter into this adventure of Discipleship through a relationship with Christ. It’s well worth the ups and downs you will face throughout your journey. Just be willing to seek Him (Christ) hard and with everything you have. If you’re willing to do that, then He is waiting to provide you with everything you need to get though this life. A grand adventure is before you, so what are you waiting for?