Are the moments ever uncertain! An orange alert indicates a terrorist attack is a serious possibility [maybe]. Economic struggles suggest some businesses will not survive [perhaps]. The deployment of men and women place lives and families at serious risk [sometimes]. Add to those question marks the loss of jobs, rising family crises, mounting loads of indebtedness, and a myriad of moral struggles, and uncertainty definitely seems to characterize the emotional climate of right now.

If terrorists attack, can Christians suffer and be killed? Yes. If businesses fail, can that include some Christians' businesses? Yes. Can deployments include Christians? Yes. Can a Christian lose his or her job? Yes. Can Christians experience family crises? Yes. Can Christians burden themselves with debt? Yes. Can temptations lead Christians into moral crises? Yes.

Then what is the use of being a Christian? If we regard Christianity to be a form of a spiritual insurance policy, there is no reason to be a Christian. If the primary reason for our being Christian is a desire to purchase a spiritual insurance policy to protect us from "bad physical things" occurring in our lives, we have no godly reason for being Christian. Following Jesus Christ does not prevent struggles. Jesus never promised that protection.

People must become Christians because they believe in Jesus Christ's resurrection. They must become Christians because they believe their resurrection will inaugurate a new existence in a righteous world free from struggle. They trust God's promise of strength as they struggle in this world until they are a part of His world. They should not and must not become Christians because they consider it a form of "physical struggle prevention" in this existence.

Paul encouraged struggling Christians in Rome with this statement in Romans 8:18:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

A few sentences later, Paul made this statement to those same struggling Christians (Romans 8:23):
"And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."

We, as Christians, reflect God as we endure physical struggle because we wish to live with God where there is no struggle. With God's strength and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we shall!

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 23 February 2003

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