I think sometimes as a Christian, especially a professed one, I expect myself to have this consistent centered and peaceful life. I’m guilty of having an all or nothing approach that can be damaging at times. Lately I’ve been dealing with a multitude of spiritual battles and secret battles that have left me frustrated, defeated, and exhausted.
Now please don’t judge me because I’m a work in progress and I’m growing daily.
But…when you’re a Christian and you suddenly find yourself asking questions like, “is being a Christian true freedom?” it can mess you up a little bit. Often I feel like I’m boxed in by a set of rules that I’m clearly not always strong enough to follow, and that makes me feel guilty. Which makes me distance myself from God. And if I’m a Christian why do I still have moments of extreme hopelessness? Why do I still feel angry about all the things I’ve gone through in life? Why did you take the person I needed most?
Why ain’t I “roses” yet?
As a Christian, I have lots of questions and lots of moments of despair. There are days when I feel like I’m on top of the world, and days when I feel like I’m underneath the world. Sometimes I feel God, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to read my bible, sometimes I don’t even want to look at my bible.
I think I had a misconception that being a Christian meant being in a constant state of peace. I underestimated the allure of temptation and the weakness of my flesh. I expected to be protected from the pain of struggle, yet I asked God to continue molding me into who He wanted me to be. I wanted contradictory things.
I learned that I can’t be molded if everything is “roses”. I can’t learn what I need to learn if I’m comfortable. I can’t even grow to truly know God if I don’t wrestle and accept the fact that I have questions many people have probably asked before. God is not afraid of my questions.
Yes, I choose to believe, but I still have my moments of unbelief. I still have areas in my life that aren’t completely surrendered. I still have pieces of me that doesn’t trust in God’s sovereignty…if I’m being honest.
This thing ain’t no cakewalk.
And any Christian who makes being a Christian seem glamorous, or easy, or some all-the-time harmonious type of thing is misleading.
In Matthew 8:18-22 Jesus warns us of the cost of following Him. There was a man, the bible refers to as “a teacher of the law” who came to him and proclaimed, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Now instead of Jesus being eager to bring him along, he warns him of the difficulties that will inevitably come saying, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
When I read that it blew my mind. It reminded me that following God ain’t supposed to be roses! Jesus never said it would be easy and he didn’t front and make it seem like something it wasn’t. Still, there is a greater good to come if we stay the course. The bible says in James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds…” This includes my spiritual battles. This includes my frustrated and moments of unbelief. This includes my nights of tears and all the uncomfortableness that is my life sometimes. “…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I guess in the end, it all boils down to this: we must do our very best to trust God even when it’s hard to do so. Even when we still lack understanding about so many things. Even when we still have questions, and complaints and fall victim to our fleshly desires, we must try our best to trust in God’s sovereignty and keep moving forward. It’s all still working for our good!
Have you had a Christianity ain’t roses type of moment lately? Comment below, and let’s chat!
Till next time,