I’ll reserve the fact that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God for the experts. (Click Here for an article I’d recommend.)
Regarding the mistaken belief that Christianity is easy; I can easily dispute this based upon my own personal experience.
When I was a baby my mom had a prayerful experience. According to her, there was a time in which she felt emptiness in her heart. She could’t figure out why she felt this way, having a wonderful marriage and 3 healthy children.
One night, while she was alone, she prayed that God would provide an answer. In the midst of her prayers, she came to understand that Jesus was the missing link. She learned that because Christ died for our sins we could only be good enough to God by accepting this precious gift. Shortly after, she and my dad earnestly searched scripture and began a personal relationship with God; now understanding that this was possible because of Jesus Christ.
I guess you can say that I was fortunate to be raised in a Christian home, where I learned from an early age what it meant to have a relationship with God.
Ok, now fast forward to my mid-twenties. Shortly into my first marriage, I joined a women’s bible study and began to pray and grow in my faith. I anticipated that this experience would bring blessings to my life and my circumstances.
Little did I know that God’s enemy would become so furious at my pursuit that he would begin to infiltrate the most important areas in my life. My health took a turn for the worse. There were several failed attempts to get pregnant. And, my marriage began to deteriorate. In spite of praying, attending church, and joining this bible study…everything failed. Within a matter of months.
I was devastated. And, I didn’t know how to respond.
From there I went into a semi-period of rebellion. My heart didn’t change towards God, but I began to prioritize worldly standards over my relationship with God. Never had I felt so NUMB in my entire life.
Mid Thirties – Now
By the time I was in my mid-thirties I began to restore my relationship with God. I began to feel healthy again. A new hope began to flourish in my heart. I met Scott when I was not looking. We eloped after eight months of dating. I would love to say that after we married that everything worked out at the same time. But, it didn’t happen that way. Our marriage suffered as my health and infertility began to get the best of me, yet again.
I remember questioning God, “Why is it that every time I try to do the right thing and pursue a normal life and a Christian lifestyle do I suffer?”
Christianity is NOT for Wimps
I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why things were so off-kilter. I even struggled in the workplace as the stress was exacerbating my health symptoms. I couldn’t understand how everyone else could do their jobs with ease, and I could barely make it home without tears from the exhaustion and the aches I felt in my body.
It was a vicious cycle. The more I struggled, the more I felt sick. The sicker I became, the more I struggled. At work. Getting pregnant. In my marriage. Scott temporarily moved in with his parents on more than one occasion, as we both refused to deal with our struggles. This time, I was convinced that there was no hope for me.
And that’s when God showed up. Little did I know that He was about to use my lowest point to strengthen me like never before. Friends, I can best define this as Spiritual Warfare. You may have heard of it. This is when our enemy is at war with God and His army of angels. There is a part in this battle for us, too. We are to sustain our faith in times of persecution. We cannot be weaklings. We cannot be wimps!
Once I realized this, I decided to trust in God no matter what was going on in my life. It was NOT easy. And, it took me years before I would finally yield to my faith in spite of bad circumstances. But, eventually, God worked out His perfect plan.
Today, my relationship with God is stronger than ever. Is my marriage perfect? Absolutely not. Is my health perfect? Not in the least. Have I gotten pregnant? Not even once.
Yet, my heart has been filled. And, I live with more security than I have ever had before.
It was worth fighting for.
The bible speaks more about persecution in this world than you may think. (Check out these verses.)
In fact, I would bet that someone you know that loves the Lord with all her heart is enduring persecution. But, there is good news:
…We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,who has been given to us. Romans 3:5
If you are going through persecution or adversity, there is something spiritual going on that is worth your fight! God plans to give you more than you can imagine. Now is the time to get on your knees like never before and worship God. Then, tell your enemy who you are and what you can do as God’s princess (or prince). From there, trust that God will bring you through the storm. He will provide a season of peace. He did that for me, and He will do that for you.
Are you going through adversity today? Are you lonely? Have you been abandoned? Are you sick? Are you losing a loved one? Is your marriage failing? Have you lost friends because of your faith?
TOUGHEN UP! That’s right. Speak HOPE and FAITH into your vocabulary.
“I will meet the husband God has for me.”
“I will use my disability for a divine purpose.”
“I will become financially stable.”
“I will restore this relationship.”
“I will follow God even if my friends abandon me.”
Whatever you do, do NOT lose faith. You have what it takes. Period. You are the daughter (or a son) of a King.
And, it is worth fighting for.