The Gospel is a very simple message, but being simple doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy.
When you decide to follow Jesus, not everything is guaranteed to be fun and exciting. Jesus said in 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” Also in James 1:2-4 James says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
From these scriptures we can understand that we will come against opposition in our walk with Christ. Many Christians are still surprised when things come against us. Especially when another believer comes against us and gets angry with us, or we are angry with them. The Scripture we have to remember at these times is Ephesians 6:12, “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”
Many people also like to blame Satan for all their problems. While he, Satan, and his helpers do cause a lot of problems, the main person most of us have trouble with is ourselves. It is the flesh that we live in. Paul speaks of this problem in himself in Romans 7:19-21, “for the good I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.”
One thing is for sure, it is a battle we are engaged in when following Christ. And we need to keep close to him throughout the battle. Jesus said he would never leave us nor forsake us. He will always be close to help us.
In Matthew 10:22 Jesus says, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” This Scripture also tells us it can be difficult in this life. And that it is important to overcome the evil in our lives with good which is in Christ Jesus.
Even though it will be hard at times it is still the good news, Jesus is the answer for all our problems. If you surrender your life to Christ and follow him your life can have meaning. Just be aware that things won’t be easy all the time.
I would not change a thing about my walk with Christ, even though I have had some major trials in this life. Each trial brings me closer to Christ and makes me stronger than before.
In Romans 10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Pastor Lon Smith of The River Ministries in Coleville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.