It's Not Easy, But It's Good

It's Not Easy, But It's Good


     Life as a Christian can be extremely misunderstood, especially from the outside looking in. There's often a large misconception that once you become a Christian, it's all rainbows and butterflies, but that couldn't be further from the truth. If anything, life can become even more difficult in a number of ways. But if you know how to overcome those challenges, there can be incredible amounts of genuine joy just on the other side! The reward is always worth the struggle!


     Temptations become worse and more abundant when you become a Christian. You're probably thinking, how? If you're closer with Christ and further from sin, that shouldn't be possible, right? Not necessarily. The closer you get to Christ, the more the enemy is going to try and destroy that relationship. The enemy hates God and wants to stop the advancement of His kingdom. So, if you are doing God's work, the enemy is surely going to try harder than ever to distract you, discourage you, and defeat you.

      Some temptations/lies the devil is going to throw at you are guilt, shame, regret, sadness, lust, anxiety, and anything else he can to lead you astray from God and what He really wants for you. We can be comforted though, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13).

       We are also encouraged because Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." We can't be separated from God! No matter what the enemy throws at us, God still loves us and is always there to help. Thankfully, we are more than conquerors with God (Romans 8:37)! He's always standing there with His arms open wide, even when we sin, so we can always go running back to Him. No matter what you're feeling or how bad you may have messed up, God's love NEVER changes for you. The Christian walk may be hard, but that's exactly why it's so good. You can continue to run to the Father again and again, and He'll continue to love you again and again. If He is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). 


     Temptation being one of them, obstacles are going to be something that us as Christians face often. A major obstacle that Christians experience in their walk with Christ is hatred from others. The people that used to be your friends will become your enemies. That can be pretty discouraging and even intimidating sometimes, but Jesus encourages us, "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first." (John 15:18). We need to understand that we aren't going to be liked by the world or its values, but believe it or not, we can rejoice in that!

      The Bible says we can't serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), we are always devoted to one and will hate the other. This means we can either serve God or the world. We can live to please man or God, but not both, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10). If the world hates us, that means we're living for God and doing what pleases Him. If we're pleasing the world and the things in it, we make ourselves enemies of God,"...friendship with the world means enmity against God. Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4). We cannot love both God and the world, we have to choose. Besides, if the world hates us then why should we love it more than the God who loves us? If you ask me, I choose to love God because He loves me and wants what is best for me, not the world that seeks to destroy me.

      Another obstacle we will experience is pain. God doesn't promise a painless life, but He promises us hope and victory. That doesn't necessarily mean it will be easy or comfortable. Whether it's physical or emotional pain, we are guaranteed to struggle in some way in this life. "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Because we have Jesus, we know that the pain won't last forever. It's only temporary, as all things are until we get to live with Him in eternity! "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:17). When we have pain, we know and are encouraged by the fact that there's hope for the day when it all goes away. These are just a few of the obstacles that we'll face as followers of Christ. We don't sugarcoat them, for they are very real, but we have hope and strength to fight that comes from God.

 How to Fight

     Since a spiritual war is constantly going on around us, we need to be equipped and ready at all times to fight the good fight of faith. A simple way to fight is to get into the Word of God. Knowing scripture empowers us. When you know God's Word, you know truth about yourself and about God, and even about the world around you. The Word of God is your armor against the schemes of the devil. The enemy will try to come at you with all kinds of temptations, but you can fight back with scripture by either reciting it in your mind, or even saying it out loud if that helps. This is the best way to fight. When Jesus was approached by the devil in the desert, He held fast to what the Word of God says, and simply recited scripture. This made the devil flee, and it does every single time!

      Know your enemy. With reading scripture, you can study the stories and recognize ways the enemy deceived people like Adam and Eve, Samson, Abraham, etc. You can even look at how he tried to deceive Jesus in the desert - he approached him in a state of weakness, when Jesus had not eaten in 40 days. This, for example, can make us aware that the enemy will probably try to get us when we're down, so we can be alert and prepared. Another tactic the enemy will use is doubt. We see this back in the story of the fall, the first thing the serpent did was make Adam and Eve doubt what God said, "...did God really say?". Hold fast to what is true, for the Bible says, "...the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." (James 1:6). 

     The Bible lays out for us the armor of God in Ephesians 6, that we might be prepared for the battle. He reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood (yes, those around you that persecute you), but rather against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Our armor consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, readiness from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. 

      Prayer is another defense against the enemy. If we are in constant communication with God, taking all of our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, we leave the lies of the enemy powerless, for God's voice is louder. The closer we get to God's heart, and the more time we spend in His presence, the better fight we will be able to put up when things get hard. 


     Life as a believer isn't going to be easy. We are going to experience all kinds of temptations and obstacles, but when we stand firm in our faith, we can embrace what it means to be a Christian and overcome everything through the power of Christ!


By: Tyler Dixon and Lexia McDowell

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