Is the Christian Life Worth It?QUESTION: Is the Christian Life Worth It?ANSWER:
The struggles and heartaches of believers in Christ compel some to ponder, “Is the Christian life worth it?” Lately it seems Christians suffer more persecution, ridicule, and condemnation for surrendering their lives to Jesus and obeying God’s commands. Thousands of years ago, Jesus explained “When the world hates you, remember, it hated me before it hated you”
). It’s never easy when . . .
- Family, friends, or co-workers label you as a religious fanatic or disown you for your beliefs.
- Biblical guidelines for marriage and parenting are legislated against.
- Children are reprimanded in school for living out their Christian faith.
Clearly, living the Christian life is unpopular, unconventional, and unsettling. In fact, it can be nearly unbearable. The apostle Paul states, “Five different times the Jews gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned . . .”
(2 Corinthians 11:24–25
). And yet Paul repeatedly focuses on his joy and rejoicing 16 times in Philippians -- while he’s chained in prison!
If we were to ask Paul, “Is the Christian life worth it?” his answer would certainly be a resounding YES! (Philippians 3:8
). Paul is not the exception.
In March 2007, Bob’s pickup truck was sideswiped, crushing his skull. His wife, Ruth, and their five small children had their lives changed forever -- insurmountable medical bills, innumerable neurological procedures to diagnosis and treat Bob, imminent foreclosure on their home, governmental red-tape delaying financial aid, loss of his consulting firm -- just to name a few struggles. One and a half years later, Bob, was able to miraculously recover 95%, to drive a car, and to resume supporting his family. But recently he had a grand mal seizure which resulted in a concussion. Bob’s neurologists have “reset his recovery clock back to zero.” Living the Christian life daily remains Bob and Ruth’s highest priority. Their faith has been tested once again, but deepens as they trust in God’s plan, strengthened by the prayers of all who love them so dearly. In every update of Bob’s condition, Ruth closes each letter . . . “Amazed by His Goodness.”
So even in serious seasons, why is the Christian life worth it? It’s not based upon our circumstances. It’s about a relationship. Paul rejoiced in knowing Christ and experiencing the power of His resurrection. His joy resulted from knowing his suffering enabled him to share in Christ’s death as well as his resurrection. Throughout the Scriptures, the “it” has always been God reconciling Himself to us (Romans 5:11
; Ephesians 2:16–17
; Colossians 1:19–22
When we set our focus on the eternal things of God, heaven fills our thoughts. As we release our burdens through prayer, God’s peace -- indescribable in human terms -- guards our hearts and minds. In short, the Christian life is worth that intimate, eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father and Creator.