What’s the toughest aspect of being a Christian?
For many people, it’s looking at their past and trying to come to terms with the fact that it’s all forgiven. ALL OF IT.
One perspective on this issue is this image:
Imagine that you’re at the foot of the cross with Jesus beaten, battered, crucified and dying right in front of you. Then you look up at Him and tell Him, “Sorry, that’s just not enough. Not for who I am, who I’ve been and what I’ve done.”
The truth is that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient for everything that you’ve done. EVERYTHING.
But what about when you’ve gotten over that hurdle, but instead oflife seeming to be filled with joy, you’re instead faced with one trial after another?
The Bible offers these words:
1 Peter 1:7
7 These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.
I Peter 4:12-13
12 Dear friends, don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you. 13 Instead, be really glad—because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterwards you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory in that coming day when it will be displayed.
First of all, it’s so encouraging to know that I’m not the only guy to go through these tough times and that there is a bright future ahead – even if it’s not until Jesus returns, on that day, all of this junk will be wiped away! ALL OF IT!
Then there’s Romans 5:3-5
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. 4 And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. 5 Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Now if that ain’t encouraging, what is?