Difficult to be a Christian

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Thankful, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Thankful

    Thankful
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    We talk so much about how difficult it is to be a Christian.

    Our Pastor preached on this subject last Sunday.

    Are we discouraging people from becoming Christians when we do this?

    I would like to hear a sermon on how difficult it is, but the rewards are great. There is such joy in being a Christian and walking in faith and the ultimate reward is eternal life.

    I believe this should be stressed more and more time given to the joy and happiness of being a Christian.

    [ December 14, 2002, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: BettyE ]
     
  2. Molly

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    Yes,it is good to be a believer! There is great joy in a relationship to Christ. The bible also says there will be great suffering for Christ's sake,too.But,even in trials we are to rejoice. There should be a balance in the teaching. Be prepared for suffering,it will happen,but rejoice understanding the purpose,that is if suffering for Christ and not for own sin.
     
  3. Daniel David

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    BettyE, a couple of thoughts:

    1. it discourages spurious evangelism and easybelievism.

    2. the joy of a believer does not depend on circumstances. If it does, it isn't joy but mere happiness. The Spirit produces joy, not happiness.
     
  4. Headcoveredlady

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    betty,
    there is a reason it is called, "the narrow way."

    hcl
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Preach! ( :eek: :eek: :eek: )

    We are to "count the cost" of being a disciple. Becoming a believer is not saying a half-hearted prayer, but it is casting yourself at the mercy of God and beginning the journey of following Jesus through the rest of our days until we reach the eternal city.

    Very true. Joy is part of the character of God that comes forth from the depths of our being. It is most often recognized externally as holy contentment, faith and the ability to extend grace to others. It is an ease of spirit about what may come in the future and freedom from fear. Joy is the stimulus for worship in spirit and in truth. Joy is not obsessed with so-called "dignity" or worried about "putting on airs" in order to be respected by others. Joy provides freedom to be who God is transforming us to be -- a calm self-assurance that God is working His in us and through us. Joy provides eagerness to serve and helps us see that the joy of serving others is its own reward.

    Happiness often springs from true joy, but many people confuse pleasure from circumstances (happiness) with the joy as manifested by Christ in us.
     
  6. DHK

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    Being a true Christian, i.e., a disciple, requires sacrifice, but brings joy. Sacrifice is sometimes, if not often unknown among Western nations. Here is a quote from an anonymous Christian that might encourage some:

    The following is the resolution of an anonymous Christian. It is his declaration of intent to be a true disciple of Christ.

    "I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I've stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His.

    I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, idle talking, chintzy giving, and miniature goals.

    I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, love by patience, am lifted up by prayer, and labor in power.

    My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.

    By God's grace, I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up, or slow up, until I've preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.

    I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go 'till he comes, give 'till I drop, preach 'till all know, and work 'till He stops me. And when Christ comes to get His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me - my colors will be clear."
    (anonymous)
     
  7. russell55

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    I don't think the scripture gives us much confidence in the "conversion" of those who come to Christ without some sort of anticipation of the difficulties that may arise as a result of following Christ.

    In Christ's explanation of the parable of the sower, he tell us that the seed that falls on the rocky soil is like "the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." This man is someone who comes only for the good things, and thus he does not endure when things get difficult.

    Someone who comes only because of all the good things that come with being a Christian may not be a true believer at all.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Not everyone who comes to the Lord has it easy. Some struggle the whole distance. We see this among the 12 disciples who were the closest to the Lord in person. They each had their shadows of doubt, despair and tribulation.

    The Christian life is a bed of roses for some. Just remember, roses generally have thorns.

    I grew up in the Christian religion and never knew anything different. I always believed in the Lord Jesus as my personal Saviour, yet, it took a preaching service in a Brethren Assembly to alert my mind and heart that I needed to mark my ballot to validate my faith. It was not an earth shaking experience, as some report, but it was cataclysmic to my soul, and gave me direction.

    Along the way there are trials. These often strengthen our beliefs, as we run the race toward the prize. They give us the second-breath as it were, to finish the course.

    If we preached about the blessedness of being saved all the time, where would we leave those souls who do struggle and doubt along the way. Sometimes the artist will paint a great landscape and in that painting will be a dry river bed with but a trickle of water flowing over the rocks and debris in the river. This might be a more accurate picture of the Christian life for many. The water of life flows, but meets with obstruction along the way.

    God bless, and cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. g'day mate

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    Bettye. I suppose each of us can only speak from our own personal experiences.When I walked through my personal Hell 1n 1994,One could say it was difficult,because it was life threatening.
    To say that I was happy because the Lord was with me every moment of every day for two years straight,and I have made a very good recovery. would be an insult, no it,s affensive to The Holy Spirit, to say thanks you made me happy.The Joy of the lord is something you experience,and it stays with you for ever.Bettye it has been the tough times that have brought everlasting joy to my life
    John
     
  10. donnA

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    What should we tell people, that it's all peaches and cream? Of course it's difficult, but then so is life, things go better with Jesus. Life happens to everyone, best to let it happen with Jesus. If christianity is all wonderful and never hard, then people jump in just becasue everything is good, and in the process we've decieved them. Nope, if they know it's hard to be a christian, then those looking for a quick fix won't jump in and still be an unbeliever.
     
  11. g'day mate

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    bettye In some countries Christians are being killed by muslims Just because they are Christians,I would say that,is bad.This was a news item last week.
     
  12. Helen

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    Perhaps one of the hardest things about being a Christian for the average person is the very ease of what is required: total submission. He's boss.

    We are so fond of taking charge, of wanting to know what's ahead, even of activity for its own sake. But all of that has to go. So hard, but so easy, too.

    The glove must bend to the hand if the hand is to work properly within it.

    Think about these words:

    Give us this day our daily bread.
    not steak. not a week's worth.
    daily
    bread

    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
    In other words, it's dark and the way must be lit. Lamps usually only light up a little ways ahead, and sometimes only a step or two. Not the whole way.

    We may go through some awfully hard times, but Christianity gets easier the more we quit trying on our own. But giving up in complete trust and faith can be so very, very hard!

    And still so simple.

    That, for most the people I know, is the crux of the difficulty of Christianity.
     
  13. Rosa

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    BettyE,
    While I have to agree with what everyone else said, there is still a part of me that knows such great Joy. When I pray my heart sings, when I sing my soul soars. In service I am humbled that I can be used even in such a small way.
    By our fruit we are known, and I don't intend to have sour grapes.
     
  14. Ed Edwards

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    Amen, Sister Rosa -- Preach it!
     
  15. Thankful

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    Rose, I love your response [​IMG]

    G'day mate, Yes, I can see in other countries, how difficult it must be to be a Christian. At least for now, we do not have that problem in the USA.

    Helen, and I quote, said
    We may go through some awfully hard times, but Christianity gets easier the more we quit trying on our own. But giving up in complete trust and faith can be so very, very hard!

    I think this is why I do not see the Christian Life as being difficult because after my first husband died, I truly learned the meaning of laying all your cares at the foot of the cross and let God take care of you. I have been trying to do that ever since. I have been through some difficult times, but the Lord was always there to take care of me. I think those times would have been much, much more difficult without Him. I cannot imagine going through those times and not being a Christian.
     
  16. Molly

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    "Cast all your cares upon Him,because He cares for you."

    As we learn to do this,we can find joy and contentment,even through trials. I think that is what James and Paul meant we they said to rejoice in various trials,knowing that God is in control and allowing Him to take on whatever comes our way.
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    Our "hap" in life results in what HAPpens and leads to HAPpiness. If my inner peace and joy depended on such, I would be of all men most miserable.

    God didn't promise me a Disneyland. In this world you WILL (He promised) have troubles. But He has also given me His Spirit and His Word to help with these troubles.

    Let not your heart be troubled: You believe in God, believe also in Me!

    I believe. Help Thou my unbelief!
     
  18. Thankful

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    I agree, Dr. Bob.

    In my opinion, the difficulty of being a Christian is very minor compared to the difficulty of being a non-Christian.

    Therefore, I believe, we should encourage non-Christians to believe and follow Jesus, rather than discourage them with telling them how difficult it is.

    Thank you all for your comments on this subject.
     

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