So many times in the American church today we hear about how following God will make everything better and if we truly turn to God and repent we will be healthy, wealthy and happy. However, this is NOT BIBLICAL. We see this pretty clearly in John 15:18 which reads “if the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” All through out the New Testament we see people suffering for God and for righteousness sake. The crazy thing is they rejoice in their suffering because they know the reward they have in heaven. Those who truly suffer for Christ have a joy and peace that surpass all understanding. This is where I feel many churches go wrong today. They have mistaken Joy with happiness… Joy comes from the Lord and from following him and his will, happiness however is of this world. I am not saying happiness is bad, it is a beautiful thing, but it is not the reason to follow Christ, a love for Christ is. I see often that people who are in the church who suddenly run into money trouble, or family trouble, or they get sick, they tend to run away from God or turn there back on him. if you have spent enough time in the church you have seen what I am talking about stop going to church regularly or reading there bible, stop praying regularly, often even saying they still believe but hating God for what “he did to them.” America forgets this is a fallen world, a broken world, yet we have a loving God who has great plans for us. However those plans may be scary, may not be easy, and will likely involve some sort of suffering. we must learn to love suffering for God because then in the hard times we have a unexplainable Joy, and in the good times we have happiness along with a joy from following the Lord.
We all have a different calling, a different mission the Lord wants you to achieve. I encourage each and every one of you to pray that God reveals his will to you, and ask others to pray the same for you. ask also for strength and courage to carry his will no matter what it may be. Some of you may have to go against family and friends, others will have to drastically change their lifestyle. God is worth it! dig into his word daily, pray to him, have a relationship with him!
I ask you also to not just take what you hear on sunday mornings from your pastor, or what you read online from me or from anyone as 100% truth until you read scripture on your own and ask for the guidance of the holy spirit through your readings. Don’t get me wrong it is great to learn from other Christians on the bible and theological issues but I encourage you to always go to the word yourself to confirm what others are saying. Christianity is meant to be done in community, so others ideas and truths they learn from scripture can help you on your walk, but you should be reading scripture on your own to confirm and to learn in order to avoid falling into false teaching!