I’m not sure how it happens, but sometimes we get the naïve idea that when you become a follower of Christ you will experience less trouble from then on. We have this unspoken reasoning in our heads that goes like this:
I’m trying to do the right thing, so everything should go smoothly now, right?
While it is true that embracing the call of discipleship will in some ways change the kind of trouble you experience in life, it will not entirely eliminate it.
Sorry to crash the party.
The truth is that life sometimes hits you in the face and bloodies your nose, whether you are a believer in Jesus, or not.
The Bible is actually very up-front about this fact, but for some reason we just don’t notice it. Here are a couple of passages that put it out there, plain and simple:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds -James 1:2
Did you catch that? James says it’s not a matter of if we will encounter trials, but when. Hard stuff is going to come our way. It is inevitable. But in Christ we are guaranteed that God will redeem every single crummy detail for His glorious purpose (Romans 8:28-29).
Here’s another one:
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time. -Psalm 34:19
Can you appreciate the realism here? David says even the righteous get nailed with adversity, and a lot of it.
So, you ask, what is the benefit then? What is the appeal or attraction of going with God if we’re still going to face many troubles?
Underline the next phrase – “…but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.”
Here’s the benefit you have as a believer. No matter how hard life is pounding you, no matter how many losses you’ve sustained, for you the game is never over. In Christ, you have the assurance of victory even when you feel utterly defeated, and it is this guarantee that empowers you to grab the ropes and pull yourself up for another round.
You’re faith in Jesus doesn’t mean you have to deny the current score. It might be bad, really bad. You’re faith in Him just means you have good reason to believe that the game isn’t over.
You’re still in it, and because of Jesus, ultimately you’re going to win it.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.