Living the Christian Life: The Hardcore Truth and Reality
If you think about Jesus’ advice for Christians, one thing stays the same. Everything He advises involves doing the right thing. Sometimes the things Jesus asks followers to do seem impossible. We can’t hate or hold contempt against people who hurt us the most. We are to pray for them. We can’t mix with people who have no conscience or worry about offending God, lest we start acting or thinking like them. We can’t give payback or wish for karma. God takes care of that through divine discipline; not karma. We can’t punish someone for doing us wrong. God does that. We aren’t supposed to curse, excessively drink or put contaminants into our bodies, lest we damage what the good Lord gave us. There are a boatload of things we can’t do. This is the hardcore reality of living a Christian life.
What can we expect if we abide by Christian Principals?
We can expect not to always get what we want in some sort of tradeoff with God.
We can expect that if we give our lives to God, we will be persecuted in honor of Him.
We can expect that God forgives, but He can also punish.
We can expect to be tricked by people who falsely spread a false message.
We can expect that we will be concerned about hellfire at least at some point.
We can expect that God can pull away at any time, and even take things away from us that we loved, because He didn’t want us to have these things that we thought were good for us.
We can expect to have urges for things that we are supposed to not want to have urges for. And if we succumb to those urges by buying the bigger and better thing than our neighbor has, or cheat on a project, or fudge our taxes a little, we are going to have to expect punishment. Great. More stress. Another punishment. This is the Christian life.
Or, are we in need of a spiritual reality check to tame down the expectations and blame that has so much become a part of society? One of the hardest things to do is find peace during adversity. What if you’ve tried putting your whole life into God, and feel you’ve seen no good results? What if you’re past the point of the big preachers saying everything is going to work out, and to just confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior and then wait for the magic to happen. Reality has hit. You are just not seeing it. What if you’re getting tired of people having more than you, while you suffer. Looking at people in worse situations barely makes one feel happy and want to jump for joy, no matter what the tales and one-liners tell you. When you’re at bottom, you’re usually the only thing on your mind. “How will I get out of this?”
Life is tough. Jesus never promised you a rose garden here on earth. He never said that everything would stay above the line of profit and that we would never experience earthly loss. Jesus never said there would never be a reason to worry while your hectic life unravels in chaos. He told you not to be anxious about tomorrow. (Matt 6:34) What does that mean? It means He knew we’d be anxious. He advised against it because He knew it would happen. Sometimes, you just can’t help it. Don’t you think He knows that? He knew you’d be anxious before you were even faced with your adversity. Nothing is a surprise to God.
Prophesy of the Bible
Jesus said this would happen. There would be those who would persecute us. The devil would lurk around, transform himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and he would deceive. There would be false prophets dressed like sheep (Matt 7:15). There would be lack of money, and poor folks (Deut 15:11). There would be punishment for wrongdoing (2 Thessalonians 1:9). There would be sickness (Exodus 23:25) and there would be death. The bible is no storybook. It is a life book. It holds the preparation for all the things to come on earth and in heaven. This is the hardcore reality. So why bother with a Christian life?
What Is Here for You On Earth?
What is the meaning of all this, if along with some blessings for the poor, there are massive amounts of rich people getting away with theft, wealth acquired by dishonest acts, lying, cheating, stealing, betrayal, or even murder? (Proverbs 21:6) When do we catch a break, while all these other people don’t even care about God? (2 Timothy 3:1-5) The answer to the question is: when God says “It’s over. The suffering has now ended.” That time will come. At the end of the bumpy road, and just when the time is right to judge the world according to the prophesy in scripture, that time will come.
Will your enemies be punished by God? Not for us to decide. Will God continue to love you if you’ve tried so hard and keep sinning accidentally? Yes. Will you be counted with the loyal, righteous and faithful? Only if you stay faithful, with true love in your heart for Jesus Christ.
What Do You Have to Lose?
Your patience. Some money. Sometimes your happiness. Your ability to focus with no worries. Some friends. Some time spent on people who used you. But… Is that all? What are the treasures you’ve been storing up here that have become so dominating over your life? What about what awaits beyond heaven’s gate?
It’s Time To Wake Up
Change your attitude. Look around you. Look at your frown in the mirror. You’ve let the adversity and suffering suck the life out of you. Snap out of your disgust. What you’re seeing is exactly what God said you’d see and experience. So far, everything God said would happen is happening. Scripture is coming true for you. You were warned. You know enough to know that this is life; the cold hard reality of Christian life. However, part of the problem may be your attitude. It has happened to me more times than I can count. I have to remind myself, this isn’t what Jesus wants. I’m sinning if I let the devil get the best of me. Take it from a spiritual coach. It’s your attitude that has to change. Even if you’ve changed it before. It’s time to change it again.
Change Your Attitude
Just because the Holy Spirit has the power to assist in cleansing the heart and giving us a new spiritual life, doesn’t mean we will never learn another lesson again through suffering. Just because we wait on the Lord doesn’t mean we should complain when we sit still and receive nothing but stress headaches. You’ve been given legs. Get up and walk. You’ve been given a mouth. Speak to someone. Help others even when you’ve helped as much as you thought you could. Get yourself ready for a different path. Nothing can happen without God’s foreknowledge. The sovereignty of God is powerful. God may put it into your heart very shortly that your road is about to change. But you can’t wait for it to change while you have doubt that’s paralyzing you. You must not doubt at all. Be proactive and start understanding that this may be part of God’s sovereign plan for you. You thought you’d lost. But you may be undermining just how powerful God really is. Patience is a trait we are not easily given. We must ask for it in prayer, even if we don’t know what else to pray for. But we also must stop holding on to what is making us negative. Thoughts that repeat themselves with the same patterns have to change. You cannot say you want it to change and expect God to do all the work. You have to follow what you know you’re supposed to be doing, and get the energy and strength to do it. Starting now, realize that God is sovereign. He’s given you capability to weather the storm and He has made a promise that He is with you. So now it is time to let His timing work while you get moving in faith.
Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Christian Life vs Unbelievers Life
The Christian life can be much more confusing than that of an unbeliever. We have a harder job. We have to believe and continue in perseverance, never turning against our God. We have to believe that something is there, even though we cannot see it, one of the hardest things of all, called faith. We have to press far past doubt, and in our lowest moments of Christian suffering, reach up to the Lord and trust in Him no matter what, taking all our strength to continue thanking Him. What will an unbeliever do? Live. Maybe try to do good things. Not worry about divine intervention. And die. That’s it. They like it simple. They can have it simple. If they have no worries about God, there’s a reason for it. If they don’t fear doing the wrong thing in the site of God, then they’ve got no Christian conscience. That’s ok. That’s none of our business. Has an atheist begun making you wonder if God is real? Consider this article.
You are going to have to put your negativity in check. Look at what’s in front of you. Think on where you’re headed. It doesn’t have to be the way you’ve told yourself it has to be. If you’re overly focused on that which has not gone right, then God only knows in His infinite Sovereignty exactly why that is. Instead of asking why, you must believe in faith. It is about time you changed it and recognize that you can choose not to live like this in the mental frame of mind of bitterness and despair. You can make a different choice to glorify God by showing your gratitude, and your ability to be held up by Him in faith. This is no prosperity gospel, my friend. This is about giving God your everything, and getting away from the doubts of the mind that cause you to lose your zeal for God.
You can make the personal decision to overcome. You do not have to overcome like a worthless beggar. You can change it all with the grace of God in your heart, and the will of a son of thunder. God gave David, a man small in stature the ability to take down a giant. He will give you the ability to recognize His power in His own way. Do not think of being rich. Don’t think a winning lottery ticket is waiting. Don’t think magic will fall from the sky. Do though, think of the almighty power of God, and rise up so He can put new motivations in your heart.
Here are some things you can do if you feel like giving up.