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Life Is Hard, but Jesus Is the Answer

Usually, I make it a point when I write to produce a lengthy, “scholarly” piece of work but this will not be such. Today, as I sit in preparation for my first eldership interview, I find myself reflecting on who I am and what I have become through my life; spoiler alert, a lot of it isn’t pretty. I want to share a few things here with you that I am reflecting on this morning.

First, I want you to understand that you will continue to grow and become someone you probably don’t expect to be. I’m 30 years old as of this past December; to some of you that is so young and to some of you that seems like forever away. But over the 30 years that I’ve been breathing, I’ve changed, sometimes for the better and sometimes not for the better. You probably see yourself changing now regardless of your current age, hopefully for the better, but maybe there are some things you would rather not see you become.

What makes us change? Life. Life makes us change by bringing in good and bad circumstances. I want to be clear on this, life will not always be awesome and life will not always bring nothing but good circumstances, even for the Christian. Actually, the Bible is clear that Christian circumstances are no better than non-Christian circumstances.

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)

Do you see that tiny little detail? God works together all things – the good, the bad, the ugly – for our good. Clearly Christian circumstances are no different than a non-Christians, otherwise Paul would have just said that God now gives us lives that are immune to bad things happening.

“Sure,” you may say, “life is hard, but why does that mean Jesus is the answer?” Jesus is the answer because he is the only thing that cannot be less than good. Everything else in our lives will stink at one point or another. Throughout my life, I’ve had my fair share of bad jobs, bad health, bad relationships, bad accidents, bad decisions, and all of these are still shaping me into who I am today, sometimes not for the better. However, who I am in the eyes of the one who created me is not determined by the bad things in my life. Rather, who I am in the eyes of the one who created me is determined by my sonship with him. I am a child of God, he is my father, and though life sometimes throws me curveballs and I strike out in the most destructive way, there is no “height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39 ESV).  

By dying for our shortcomings, Jesus not only confirms that we are damaged (changed) and imperfect, but also that we are loved and cherished. Nothing else will see us that way in regards to the “bads” in our lives, and understanding this gives us a peace beyond understanding (Phillipians 4:7) because Jesus is the only thing in life that will forgive us in our bads. If we live for money, for power, for social acceptance, for anything other than Jesus, we will fail it and it will condemn us; but not Jesus, for he understands our imperfections and loves us yet.

Life is hard, but Jesus is the answer.

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