Friday, January 4, 2013
How often have we heard, "If you're comfortable, then you must not be where God wants you to be", or "I feel so content with my life right now, something bad must be on the way." OK, maybe we haven't heard those exact statements, but we understand the sentiment. But, is that true? If we believe those statements or the philosophy behind them, we would have to agree that struggle and hardship IS the normative Christian experience. Yes, the daily struggle with sin is very real. Yes, pain and suffering (even for the Christian) is very real, but is that the standard that Jesus establishes as the normal life for His children? NO! In fact, Jesus makes plain just the opposite, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27) He also mentions something about the internal mechanism that enables the Christian to live fully peaceful and wholly content lives, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete." (John 15:10-11) The Apostle Paul backs that up with, 'I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Phil. 4:12-13) When we look at these few words from the Bible, we see that for a Christian peace AND contentment is a way of living, not a goal to be obtained. We can rest assured that Jesus just might want us to live happy, peaceful, content and fulfilled lives because of our faith in Him. Let's all reject the fatalistic notion that living the Christian life is nothing more than a painful struggle to do good and embrace the truth that we are meant to live content. Happy New Year everybody! Comments are very much welcomed!