We are living today in our Christianity the syndrome of Easter Sunday. Everything is pretty, we are supposed to experience life with power, healing, money, and success. Like Easter Sunday, when we dress our best and go to church, many Christians are led to believe that the life of a disciple of Christ is nothing but a bed of roses, where everything is luxurious and life is easy.
For those who advocate this view, suffering, trials, and death are not part of Christianity. A real disciple should not taste these kinds of experiences. Loss and difficulties are for the weak and those with little faith.
It is interesting that we do not find this teaching in the pages of the New Testament. On the contrary, not only in the Gospel, but also in the epistles, we see plenty of admonishment and encouragement for the believers to persevere in middle of persecutions and trials, giving us the idea that pain is a common part of our life.
Here are some of those texts:
Luke 9:23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
2Corinthians 12:10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2Timothy 3:12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
1Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
But the text that marks the new life in Christ is the verse where Jesus explains His own death and resurrection: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. John 12:24.” In this text He makes clear that suffering and death are necessary for resurrection to happen. There is no life, productivity, and abundance without death.
Our temptation is to have a Christianity with only the Sunday morning experience. We do not want to go through trials, persecutions, tribulations, and death to have an abundant Christian life. We want a religion that is easy to follow, and one that will bring a lot of benefits in all areas of our lives. Unfortunately, many preachers are offering this kind of religion to their people, and they are amassing a large number of followers of this empty truth.
My brothers and sisters, do not be deceived. The trials, sufferings, and death are necessary in our Christian life. They will get us ready for the new life that Jesus has for us. Those hard experiences will break the shell so the life of Christ inside of us will be manifested. Because of that, do not run or repudiate those hardships. They are tools that God makes available for us to grow in our faith and commitment to Christ.
So, get ready for Easter Sunday, but do not forget the Good Friday.
Have a blessed week,