Never has there been a time in history, since the Fall, where life on earth was easy. Since the Fall of man, when Adam and Eve sinned in Eden, up until now, life on earth is one difficulty after another.
Job 14:1 says, "Man that is born of woman is of few days [short life] and full of trouble."
Yes, Job said it well. Man was placed in a beautiful garden where life was beautiful all the time but ever since the day Adam sinned, life is no rose garden. Any TV preacher out there who promises a rose garden if you will send in your "best love gift" is a blatant liar. There is no such thing. The Lord Jesus told us plainly in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Matt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
This is the true cost of discipleship. This is the true path of every Christian. We follow the Lord. The Lord Jesus came into this world as a humble baby, born in a stable. The bible tells us that our blessed Savior was a "man of sorrows" and "acquainted with grief". Surely the One deserving the BEST this life had to offer became poor for our sakes. The Lord Jesus faced every trial that you and I are facing. He walked upon this cruel world. He knows our heartaches and pain. He knows. Yet, the Lord never sinned -- He is the spotless Lamb of God -- able to save all who come to Him for salvation and able to meet the needs of those He has saved.
Life on earth is a HARD road. The Lord never promised that we would not have burdens but He promised to BEAR our burdens. He told us that we would have tribulations. The Holy Spirit penned through the Apostles that we would have trials. Yet through it all, we have the Lord in the midst of our adversity.
The world has Him not. The ungodly experience sorrow and pain but they do not have Christ. We do have Christ Jesus and so we are not as the faithless who worry upon their beds at night. We KNOW the Lord who is ALL POWERFUL; able to help us, comfort us, sustain us and deliver us. Our faith is in Christ alone! He has walked the road before us. Although our Shepherd leads us through a valley, we are not in the valley for long. Our faith in Him takes us ABOVE our current circumstances and He is able to meet us where we are. He never leaves us, though sometimes the fog of everyday trials blocks our view of Him.
Faith looks BEYOND what is seen to what is unseen with God working on our behalf. Never has it been promised to us that life would we an "easy path." But joy can be present within the heart of the Christian. Christ Jesus is the source of our joy. When we look unto Jesus-- the Author and Finisher of our Faith, we see a bright future. We are pilgrims who are passing through. We are not building a future here upon sinking sand. We journey onward unto the Heavenly Zion-- where Christ is King and where trials shall be no more. This is our future. Christ in you-- the hope of glory! We lose sight of the Lord when we become fearful of the future. The Lord will take care of us. He will empower us to endure whatever lies ahead. He gives us wisdom; He gives us guidance. He is our Rock and our Strong Defense. When we go to our Heavenly Father in prayer and make our requests known unto God, the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The Lord gives peace in the midst of our storm. We all appreciate Him more and love Him more as we journey through this cruel world-- knowing that His grace truly is sufficient. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
1Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
You may want to give up today-- saying, "It's too hard." But we cannot quit...it is IMPOSSIBLE for the true Christian to quit. 2Timothy 2:3: "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
Jesus is Lord and Him we do follow! We don't quit; we rest in Him and trust Him that He will work all things out. He gives us the victory. He empowers us. We give our burdens to Him. His shoulders are very strong. The Lord Jesus will meet us where we are. He knows what it is like to live in this world.
Has He not won the victory? Christ is our Faithful High Priest who was despised and rejected. He understands and will meet our need. If your burdens are too much to carry, GIVE THEM OVER TO THE LORD. He will give you peace.
Phil 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Eph 3:17-21 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Is there anything too hard for God? No, but in many cases we must let God be God and give Him our burdens. He allows everything for a reason and if we understand this, we shall better rest in Him during the trials of our life. Prayer is the breath of every Christian. We are to pray without ceasing and make our requests made known unto God and He will give us peace.
The Christian life on earth is not supposed to be "live your best life now". We live our best life LATER...in the world to come. This journey is a life of following our Savior. He had a hard road and we follow Him. We take up our cross and we follow in His footsteps. Our life here is not a paved road of gold. It is a road that leads us through valleys and mountains, crossing rivers and rocky roads. Prosperity preachers preach heresy when they tell you to "send in your love gift" and "all will be well." This is a lie. All is well when we look unto Jesus. All is well when we understand that God is in control and that He is faithful to see us through. We are to line up our thinking with the Word of God. We are to pray according to His will-- not our own. Christians are most miserable outside of the will of God. Many times, we want things to be done our way but our way leads to a dead end road with a swamp ahead and alligators in the water. God never leads us to a swamp. We end up there on our own-- by choosing our own way and not waiting upon God. Such costs us grief, time, money, frustration, anxiety. We must yield to the Lord and pray for His will-- for He knows what is best for us.
We journey onward-- ever looking toward the Lord Jesus, Who is our Leader. He enables us to live the Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit. We rest in Him and stand upon His promises and know that ALL things work together for good to them who love God and to them who are the called according to HIS purpose.
Over 100 years ago, William Trotter wrote the following:
"It is for the future, not the present, that man exists. The present was never designed to satisfy man. That it does not, as matter of fact, is attested by the consciousness of all. Let the character of the present and the extent of the future be what they may, the present fails to satisfy, and it is for the future the heart sighs and yearns...The worldling is not satisfied because he knows nothing, is possessed of nothing, whichâ€” can either now, or at any time, satisfy him. The Christian knows One who can, and is possessed of One who can satisfy him. He knows Christ-- he possesses Christ-- he enjoys Christ. Christ is his life -- Christ is his peace -- Christ is his joy -- Christ is his portion; but, as yet, he has never seen Christ. It is by faith he knows, by faith he possesses, by faith he enjoys Him; but the more he knows and enjoys Him thus, the more he longs to behold Him... to have the salvation which He wrought out on the cross applied to our bodies as well as to our souls --to have it perfected in our experience even as it respects our souls -- to have it consummated thus in all who are fellow-partakers with us of Christ -- to be with Him, and with them, in our Father's house -- to behold His glory which the Father has given Him -- to appear with Him in glory when He appears-- to reign with Him over a ransomed and redeemed and happy creation-- to fulfill our part in the universal harmony of all in heaven, and all in earth, when all shall bow the knee to Jesus, when every tongue shall own Him Lord, and all voices shall join to celebrate His praise; this, and far more than this --far more than heart can conceive or tongue explain, is what we wait for; and, above all, we wait for Him whose return shall introduce us to all this perfect blessedness-- we "wait for God's Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." HE IS OUR HOPE. We know Him now by faith as our Saviour, our Lord, our life, our peace, our joy, our all. AND HE IS OUR HOPE. He is plainly said to be so in 1 Tim. 1: 1, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, OUR HOPE." (Taken from Prophetic Subjects by William Trotter)
So in closing, shall we continue to believe the age-old lie about how life is supposed to be a bed of roses? Shall we live our "best life now"? No, we should know that our Savior's steps were not easy and as His people, we walk in His steps. Christ Jesus is before us. As we look to Him for strength, He is able to meet our every need. Let us not waiver in unbelief. Let us stand upon His promises and let us be sober and vigilant; being on guard against unbiblical doctrines that are around us. Let us not sleep in mediocrity but let us be soldiers, empowered by His Spirit, to run the Christian race-- to fight the good fight of Faith. There are battles and there are trials but praise the Lord and "thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place." (2Cor. 2:14)
Christ alone is our HOPE on this pilgrim pathway. Life is but a drop of vapor and when our brief life on earth is through, He shall take us to glory where we shall forever be with Him. Shall we not today trust the Lord in everything?
Col 1:9-14 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins...