Have you ever noticed—sometimes we become our own worst enemy? It’s true. And sometimes this happens in unusual ways. Case in point— we bring a curse down upon our heads by expecting the Christian life to always be enjoyable and easy. Upon what Scripture do we base that expectation? That is something man invented. The Bible teaches otherwise. Although it is easy to become a Christian, it is not easy to be a Christian.
Just about everything we are commanded to do is hard, even impossible for us to do on our own. The Scriptures impose demands upon us that are far beyond our ability to do without divine aid. Who can say they have succeeded on their own? Have we not all failed at some point? Think about it. Have we honestly forsaken all to follow Christ? What about forgiving, loving, and helping your enemies? Are we truly “doers of the Word”? Most of us fail more than we like to admit.
The demands of discipleship are difficult. And the difficulties of discipleship are by divine design— never forget that! Jesus warned His followers from the very beginning that it would be hard. He never encouraged people to follow Him under false pretense. He was open, honest and up-front about what to expect and what was expected. He told them they would be hated, persecuted, and murdered. Yet He told them to be faithful unto death. They were to forsake all for this? That doesn’t sound very appealing– not something you would say if your goal was to “win friends and influence people”.
So how did we develop this idea that the Christian life should be all fun and games? Next to the natural appeal of the flesh, I suspect the biggest culprit is preachers. In an effort to make Christianity more appealing many have tried to reduce the demands of discipleship. They have turned things up-side down, making it more about us than God. However, as appealing as this might seem, it doesn’t satisfy– neither God nor man. God’s way, the hard way, the challenging way, is the only way that leads to true satisfaction. Whatever the cost the product is worth the price. Nothing satisfies the soul of man more than knowing he has done the will of God. That’s the only life worth living. Christians must live for the glory of God and the good of others, or suffer grief due to a guilty conscience. Only those who are willing to pay the price can enjoy perfect peace.—- HDS