There was a question raised when a group of Christian leaders were having lunch. It's one of those questions which we have probably thought about before, yet without arriving at answers which seemed adequate. Here's the question:
Are we guilty of professing to the world around us, if a person becomes a dedicated Christian, totally yielding to the writings of the Bible, then he is in for smooth sailing through life with everything turning out in his favor?
Think for a moment about your take on that question. If you decide on an answer like most, you will readily admit since you became a Christian, there have been things which did not produce smooth sailing, and maybe you can count numerous occasions when things didn't turn out in your favor.
While we wish to encourage and assist those on the outside to become followers of Jesus Christ, we do them a disservice if we infer they will never have another problem, never another illness, never another crisis in their family. We who are already in the Christian family, the church, can testify about the problems of something called "life" still plagues us.
Here is the main thing we need to understand. Even while living as a Christian in these present days, we are still on the human side of eternity. It's true, Jesus lives in us which makes our lives prepared for eternity, while we live in this world we are going to face those troubles which are common to all people.
We believe that we are IN this world but the child of God does not have to be OF this world. That's why you will hear Christians praying when crisis arises. That's why we continue to seek the lost of the world with the gospel message. That's why we strive to live our lives as upstanding members of society.
Yes, we are subject to car wrecks and cancer, business failure and even the death of some when they are still young. These tragedies occur in the world in which we live. Yet while these are happening around us daily, there is another thing we should understand.
The Christian continues his life in the world, yet when disaster occurs, he is equipped with the presence of God, who is always concerned with his people. That gives us somewhere to turn when we face the problems. You will hear Christians saying, in the face of troubled times, "I do not think I could have faced this disaster, had it not been for my faith."
Jesus instructed us we would possibly face persecution and suffering. We still have burdens to bear, trials and temptations, and yet through all of this, we face the reality of having our own individual "crosses to bear."
Because this world is in contrast with our eternal home, Biblical truth still points us to work in faith toward our citizenship in the eternal presence of God. It may not always be easy, it could be painful, but Jesus died so we could be prepared and even anticipate his return when he will take us home.