There are a lot of teachers out there now who claim that the path to God is paved with happiness and prosperity. That God’s highest aim in the universe is your personal comfort. That self-esteem is the most important fruit of the Spirit.
I don’t happen to agree with them. At all.
I’m not saying that God is not interested in blessing us with what we need and a more than healthy dose of what we want, BUT… that’s not the most important thing.
The Christian life is an amazing journey of realizing your greatest potential. Of understanding your purpose in the world and understanding that God has a plan for your life.
But this journey is not the easy road.
When we decide to take up our cross to follow him, it means we make a commitment to do things His way and not ours. We decide that His goals are better than ours. We choose the right over the easy. The big picture over the here and now.
The Apostle Paul likens our journey to a war. War is messy. War is hard. War has casualties. War means choosing a side that will not make you popular to the masses as a whole.
I think we as Christians have done one another and the world a great disservice by not being completely honest about the difficulty of this choice to follow Christ. In an effort to look like we have it all together, we’ve alienated one another. Maybe if we were honest about our struggles we could hold each other up and help each other through those hard times. Instead, I fear that we’ve lost a lot of baby Christians because we made them believe that they were doing it wrong because it got hard.
What happens when we’re not happy?
Is there something wrong with me when I’m struggling?
Am I suffering because God is punishing me?
These are questions that the prosperity teachers won’t address, because I don’t believe they have the real answers. Those answers require more digging than they really want to do.
Over the next few weeks, I want to share some thoughts about the difficulties I’ve faced and what I believe God is teaching e in those moments.
If you gain nothing more from this blog post than this, please know that you are not alone. We all struggle and it’s not a sign that you are doing something wrong. No matter how slick the marketing, how perfectly coiffed and maincured the messenger, or how well the book sells, the Christian life is not always easy.
But it is always worth it.