“But He was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was chastised that we might have peace; He was lashed—and we were healed! We are the ones who strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us!” Isaiah 53:5,6
“He died for our sins just as God our Father planned, and rescued us from this evil world in which we live.” Galatians 1:4
If Jesus died for our sins so that we could be free from the life of shame, then why do we as Christians continue living in it? Why is it oftentimes easier to be part of the world than to be separated from the world? Why does it seem that other religions don’t receive so much persecution and judgment as the Jewish and Christian faith? Why, why, why?
Let’s address the last two questions first: Why is it easier to be part of the world than it is to be separate; why does it seem that other religions don’t receive as much persecution and judgment as the Jewish and Christian faith?
We live in a body that is made from the earth, therefore it is one with it. Our bodies naturally long to do worldly things; it is corruptible. It is in our nature to lie, cheat, steal, lust, hate, and more; but it is also in our nature to be honest, give, humble ourselves, and love. Remember Paul said that our members are constantly at war. We were made from the dust of the earth, yet, we were also made in the image of God and unto His likeness; He breathed His spirit into us. So we have two parts: good and evil. The good part is outweighed by the flesh, and the world we live in. All around us we have pornography, hatred, movies, music, television shows, miserable people, financial distress, hopelessness, adultery, idolatry, lustful images, (whether it be a physical object or a human being); our flesh is consumed daily with sinful things of the flesh.
As far as other religions go, well, the devil pretty much so leaves them alone because he’s already got them where he wants them—engulfed in false religion. When one finds the truth, which is Jesus Christ, well then suddenly red alerts go up everywhere amongst fellow demons across the earth; a threat has now been posed before the enemy, and just as in any war, he moves in for attack.
Thus the question is left: what’s a person to do who is earnestly trying to succeed in his or her walk with the Christ?
Lean on Jesus. Forget about being religious and begin making it about loving the Lord. Never forsake your prayer life. Call upon the Holy Spirit to help you when you’re in distress, (among the many reasons God gave Him to you, that is one of them). Forgive those whom you feel have wronged you, (if you can’t go to that person, forgive them in your heart, and tell God you forgive them, too.) Rebuke the enemy in your life (Satan). Sacrifice the things in your life that are not Godly. When you slip up, immediately take it to the cross of Jesus and confess it before Him and repent.
The Bible tells us over and over that when we suffer, we are to give praise and glory to God. This is a very difficult thing to do, and sometimes, next to impossible depending upon the situation. That is why it’s called a ‘sacrifice.’ “We bring the sacrifice of praise, unto the house of the Lord,” as the psalmist put it. It is a painful sacrifice when you’re going through something and the path looks narrow and dark; when you’ve lost a loved one; when you’re marriage is failing; when you can’t pay your bills and you’re about to lose everything; it’s all painful, thus, we get the word sacrifice.
Jesus is bigger than all of our sins put together, and all of our problems. He’s bigger than the dark and narrow path, He’s bigger than the depression of loss, He’s bigger than the failing marriage, and He’s bigger than the mountain of debts you’ve incurred…yes, He is bigger than all of these things thrown together into one big pot.
But we have to do one thing, and it’s really hard, but it’s doable. God made sure it was doable by giving us the life of His only Son, Jesus: trust! Trust, believe, faith, surety, security, whatever word you wish to use here, it’s the one thing God wants. For without faith it is impossible to please God. So we know if we have faith, then God is pleased, and God can begin to move in our situation; make things happen!
Have you gotten all to used to wallowing in your hopelessness and self-pity? Is it a miserable place, yet a comfortable place at the same time? Have you been hurt and trampled so many times it’s just not an easy thing to trust? After all, you’ve been let down; why should you believe anyone or anything at this point could actually fulfill a promise?
I know, it is hard. I think we’ve all not only been lied to, but have been the liar. We’ve all not only been let down, but we’ve let others down.
You don’t have to continue in it. Paul said to fight the good fight, and that’s what we must do. Keep running the race, stop briefly to eat and quench your thirst so that you don’t faint, but just keep on running. When you run through the finish line in first place with your arms held high, a smile will stretch across your face, knowing it was hard, but you did it!
Just remember, the key is Jesus Christ. Have Him in your heart, lean on Him, and trust. From there, He will guide you through His Holy Spirit into all truth and righteousness.