Has anyone ever told you that being a Christian should be easy? After all, if you pray to God, shouldn’t everything always go perfectly?
Well, Paul was a Christian, and his life was not easy. But this didn’t surprise Paul. After all, if we are followers of Jesus, and if Jesus’ life was often hard, why wouldn’t our lives look like His?
Yes, Jesus promises to always be with us. And we know that the Father hears our prayers and that the Spirit guides our ways. But those promises to be present, listening, and guiding are not promises of an easy life.
It might be tough to admit, but a difficult life might actually be a very strong witness to Jesus. For example, when some Christians in the Early Church died for the faith, it made others wonder why (if?) they would be willing to die for something.
Near the end of his life, Paul wrote, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). He knew that living in this world would be a Christlike, humble, and sometimes difficult journey—but all to glorify his Savior. He also knew that death would bring him to Jesus and would possibly even witness to others about his faith.
Is it good to have blessings and joys in life? Of course! We can give thanks to God and praise Him in happy times. But even during difficult times, and especially in difficult times, our faith can be strengthened as we trust in our God to be present, listen, and guide us.