I recently read a post on Facebook that said, “Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.” How true that is for life in general, but especially when it comes to the Christian walk. If somebody told you that Christianity was a life filled with all joy, peace, happiness, and the warm fuzzies, somebody lied to you. Just ask “Christian” from John Bunyan’s book Pilgrim’s Progress if he had an easy road and the answer would most definitely be no! He was met with trials, temptations, persecutions, and all sorts of evils. He had to fight Apollyon, lost his scroll, wondered off the path, and was almost taken out by the giant called despair, but the good news is he did overcome!
King David said in Psalm 4:1, “…Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”
It seems as though the most important things I have learned out of life have come from being in distress. It’s those kinds of circumstances that push us to the cross, bring us closer to the Lord, and cause us to grow in ways we otherwise would not have.
Christianity is very militant and we all know that soldiers do not have easy lives. They are disciplined, constantly in the battle, and always have to be courageous with the determination in their heart to get the job done whatever it may be. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:3 that we are to “…endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Just as soldiers must sacrifice and are always in the fight or training to go to war, so the Christian is always in the fight. That’s not to say that you will never have times of repose, but if you look at the lives of David, Paul, Moses, or any other man or woman of God in the Bible, you will see their time on this earth was spent in a constant struggle to do the will of God and to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on this earth.
My point here, is that your Christian walk will not be easy. In fact, most of the time it will be downright hard. The Lord never promised us an easy road, but He did promise to never leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5)
Back during the time of World War II, soldiers volunteered to join the army because they had a sense of duty, a love of country, and they saw the need so they were willing to sacrifice their lives. They also knew what they were signing up for. They were signing up for war, so when they got war, it was no surprise to them. Nowadays, the youth are allured to serve in our Armed Forces for the benefits such as free schooling, you get to see the world, and other such reasons. When they sign up, they expect to travel with the opportunity of going to college etc., but their motives for joining the military are entirely different than those who signed up during World War II.
When those kids who sign up for the wrong reasons actually go to battle and experience the bloody stench of war, they find out that this is not what they signed up for, hence they are dismayed and a lot of them end up committing suicide in the end. I want you to know the truth of Christianity. I don’t want you to “sign up” because you think that the Christian life will take away all your troubles and give you all the happiness and peace in the world. Not so. Christianity is not about slick smiles and prosperity as the average TV preacher will tell you. It’s about fighting the good fight of faith, so as to overcome (1 Timothy 6:12)!
I want you to know what you’re signing up for and I want your reasons for signing up to be right. The bloodstained cross of Christ and your sins on account for it should be reason enough for you to want to enlist, but be assured, the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they persecuted and hated Christ, they will also persecute and hate you (John 15:18-20). No easy road did Jesus Christ walk, and no easy road will you walk.
So, as you fight the good fight of faith and walk this difficult path, remember, “…strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” As a true and faithful soldier of Christ, the blessing is in the end; and be assured, you will find it when you see Him face to face!