I really wish the Christian life was easy. I wish those preachers telling folks that following Christ leads to prosperity and ease were right. Sometimes bad theology can sound really good. The problem is that it’s wrong. Following hard after Christ is not easy. In fact, some days it can be insanely difficult. I can think of easier ways to live. I could readily enjoy what this world has to offer and relax a whole lot more. But this is not the calling of those of us who have chosen to devote our lives to Jesus. We aren’t committed to ease or wealth. We’re committed to reflecting the love of the One who gave His life so that we could live. Easy isn’t part of the equation, but love is.
It’s interesting to me that some people who accept Christ think their lives will get easier. God is love, and when was the last time you were involved in a love relationship that was easy? Building any relationship requires hard work, sacrifice, and discipline. Walking with Jesus is no different. We have to sacrifice our selfish desires and quest for immediate satisfaction. We must discipline ourselves to not take our eyes off of Him. We must work to do and obey everything He has told us to do. Relationships are hard, and we must recognize this going in to the commitment.
There is little applause as you go throughout your life following Christ. No medals or trophies are given out during Sunday morning services to recognize how well you did the week before. Our satisfaction and delight comes from the Holy Spirit within us. As we move closer to Jesus and our lives reflect Him brighter and brighter, we will find satisfaction simply in doing the things He would do. The closer we draw to God, the easier it is to recognize that He is our reward and that there could be nothing greater than that. You can keep your gold, your cash and your gadgets. Every one of those things will burn up and melt away. The love of Jesus is eternal and worth infinitely more to me.
To say you follow Jesus is the easy part. Living it as you go throughout your life is the challenge. Life squeezes in from every side, fully intent on crushing us. We make precious little time to spend with God. Our lives are demanding and time keeps slipping away. Stress builds as your commitments and responsibilities grow, always seeking to find that which will satisfy you. I submit that a life with God at the center cannot be crushed or overwhelmed.
If you are feeling stressed out, crushed, and reaching your wit’s end, take a look at what has your attention. Is it God? Is He truly the focus of your life? Do you live only to serve Jesus and let everything else fall where it may? We get stressed out when our priorities get out of whack. We feel crushed when we forget to lean on our all powerful God. Life will crush you if you are living for yourself. Life will free you if you live for Christ. Put away the selfish desires and renew your commitment to follow Jesus. It won’t be easy, but it will be everything that you need.
Are you feeling crushed by life? What’s one thing could you let go of today that would help you re-focus your life on Jesus? Please share your thoughts with others by leaving a comment below.