Recently I was listening to a Christian radio station, and they shared a short vignette. The vignette’s main message seemed to be “Jesus will solve all of your problems.” I figuratively shook my head after listening to it, wondering why we are so tempted to make the Christian life sound easy. History and personal experience would tell us the complete opposite. This isn’t to imply that the Gospel is complicated, after all it’s message is fairly simply understood (repent from your sins and put your faith in Jesus.(Acts 3:19, Gal. 2:16)) Nor am I suggesting that Jesus won’t solve the ultimate problem – the penalty of death that is a result of our sin – because for the Christian, He does (Rom. 6:23). However, being saved means that you have assurance that your eternal destination is secure and safe; it doesn’t mean that the rest of your life on this Earth will be.
I was reminded though, that simply stating that for the Christian this life is hard is incomplete as well. Even though Jesus promised that His followers will have trouble, it doesn’t mean that we are also unhappy. As John Newton stated:
The life of faith is a happy life, and if attended with conflicts, there is an assurance of victory; if we sometimes get a wound, there is healing balm near at hand; if we seem to fall, we are raised again; and if tribulations abound, consolations shall abound likewise.
In other words, the Christian will surely face trials in this life, but the trials are not the end of the story. Because of our faith in Christ, we know that our victory is secured (I Cor. 15:57). We know that any pain we feel here, is but temporary (Rev. 21:4). We know that while our heart breaks, our God is near (Ps. 34:18). There will surely be moments of unhappiness and grief, but we can have confidence that His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Our trails are momentary, but our happiness, eternal.
The life of Christian faith is not easy, nor is it free from pain, but it is one of assured joy.