Many pastors preach an overly sweetened version of Christianity that suggests we will always be happy, never face conflict, and have a blissful existence because we believe in Jesus. I cringe when I hear someone say that if we have enough faith, we will never be sick, poor, or face struggles in life.
We can understand the appeal of such a message. Scripture says, the Old Testament prophets often looked forward to a time when justice would reign, harvests would be bountiful, and the poor would have plenty. God’s promises include the hope of an enduring joy that is free from sorrow and pain.
But the fulfilment of God’s plan does not come without pain. Even in the joyful time when Mary and Joseph were adjusting to parenthood, Simeon said there would be sorrow. His words foreshadowed the way of the cross that Jesus came to take up for us, to pay the price of our sins so that we could be saved.
Today as Christians, we will experience disappointments as we strive to follow Christ in this world, and the sadness of those hardships should not be minimized. We don’t believe in fantasy. We do, however, believe that the promises of God will ultimately be fulfilled in our lives. We cling to Christ with the hope that his triumph will one day overwhelm the depth of the sadness we endure today.
“A sword will pierce your own soul too.” —Luke 2:35
Yahweh, comfort me with your presence in times of trial and please hasten the day when your promises will all be fulfilled in my life. Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly! To put an end to all trials and suffering in Jesus’s name Amen.
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