Life is Pain—And What to Do About It
A brother in Christ said something last night that resonated with me.
In life, we can either suffer or suffer with Christ. Those are the only two choices.
The "prosperity gospel" would have us believe that choosing Jesus will eradicate all our problems, worries, and inconveniences. If ever you hear this message, run. Nowhere does Jesus promise us a life of ease and wealth if we follow him; in reality, choosing Jesus can often be the catalyst of a new wave of trouble and trials.
So why choose him?
Well, it's no secret that we live in a fallen world. Even the profoundest atheist (especially the profoundest atheist) would acknowledge the imperfections of our planet, societies, and human natures. Things decay. Things die. Things eat each other. Innocent people are jailed for crimes they didn't commit. People are bullied. Stuff breaks. The planet overheats and starts to short-circuit. Humans have the capacity to harm each other physically, mentally, and emotionally, and often do.
History screams of brokenness—it's a part of our lives. The natural result?
Thank you, Wesley.
To live is to suffer, whether it's in the current of mental illness, human cruelty, an uncertain future, a broken family, financial insecurity, loss, health problems, on and on and on. That problem isn't eradicated if you become a Christian—but neither is it left unaddressed. Because the moment you choose Christ, you're no longer alone. There is someone who understands your pain more intimately than you do. Someone who has suffered more potently than you ever will. Someone who is so committed to redeeming your life that he willingly died a gruesome death for you. Someone who sees beauty where you see only pain.
The past couple years have been hard for me. I'm sure they've been hard for you, too. We're all going through something, hiding it behind "okay," struggling to stay afloat, putting our best faces forward. That in itself is a post for another time, but for now, think of this: you can continue alone, knowing that life is a cycle of suffering in one way or another, and that without Christ, that suffering only multiplies after death.
Or, you can make the other choice—the only other choice. You can invite Jesus into your heart, give your life to him, and know that life will try to drown you, but it couldn't sink Jesus, and with him as your centre, it will not sink you.
And the best part—with Jesus, the suffering has an end. There is a finish line, and when we run through the tape, every painful step becomes worthwhile. In fact, it will be way beyond worthwhile . . . incomprehensibly, unfathomably beyond.
I have struggles, like anyone. But I also have Christ. He is my hope, my light, my source of strength and comfort and guidance and relief, and if I must suffer in this life, I couldn't imagine doing it without him. You don't have to either. Need to chat? Reach out to me at @nikiflorica_heirofariad or firstname.lastname@example.org. But more importantly, reach out to him. All it takes is a simple prayer, and you will never have to face the struggle alone.
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