In the real world, everyday is not a walk in the park with flowers blooming and birds singing. In the real world there are days when clouds and storms hide the sun and pelt us with wind and hail. In the real world, every situation is not quickly and painlessly resolved. In the real world there are struggles, setbacks and even defeat.
The older I get the more I see the bad things that happen to Christians when they are taught that a life in Christ equals a life without any problems. When people are led to believe that it is available to see “heaven on earth”, they open themselves up to heartaches, heart breaks and loss of heart. If heaven on earth were available, why then would God promise us eternal life?
There are, without question, plenty of times when we are walking on “Sonshine” with everything coming up roses and life is so wonderful and we are so blessed that we feel like we are going to burst. But, there are also many times when the sun doesn’t shine, the roses wither and die and life is fraught with perils, dangers, snares and woes.
The Good News we preach is NOT that there are no more problems in Christ but rather that through Him we can patiently endure, remain steadfast and never collapse under the weight of pressure. Our message is that we have a God who will never leave us nor forsake us and a Savior who is nearer to us than the very breath which keeps us alive.
There are no guarantees that there will not be tribulations, persecutions and problems once we get born again. There are no guarantees that God will abundantly bless everyone with wealth and perfect physical health. There are no guarantees that in this life we will not face the pressure of physical disease, financial stress, tragedy and death.
The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we have a Savior who paid for our sin and reconciled us to God. That through Him we have remission of sins, forgiveness and redemption and that we have eternal life and we will be with Him forever.
The fruit by which we are known is not financial wealth, perfect health or a permanent smile plastered on our lips. No, the fruit that sets us apart from the world is the love, joy, peace and patience that allow us to endure tribulation, persecution, physical calamities and a whole array of situations that arise in our day by day living.
In Christ Jesus we have the hope of eternal life, the joy of walking with Him, the peace in knowing we have been redeemed and the greatest love of all. The Good News we proclaim is that Jesus Christ is Lord and that in Him we need not fear, become depressed, or be filled with anger or bitterness. Our life is hidden in Christ and in Him we live and move and have our being.