There are many new and newer Christians attending Northstar and that number increases weekly. But, even people who have been Christians for some time or even all their lives have questions on Christianity in contemporary culture. There is a pretty wide array of common misperceptions, characterizations, stereotypes, caricatures and outright myths about Christianity that circulate heavily within today’s society. I would like to address some of those myths and urban legends about Christianity continuing with the general perception that becoming a Christian means I will be immune from problems.
Everyone has different expectations from Christianity, but one thing we should not expect is a problem-free life.
You will still face ups and downs, challenges and joys. You will have problems and troubles to overcome. I don’t personally know of any promise in God’s Word that specifically says God will keep us from all trouble, heartache, and suffering. However, I could fill up several pages with verses that teach us that saints had to suffer greatly, just because of their faith in Christ. If we are honest with ourselves and read the Bible as it is written, it will end the discussion that asks, “Do Christians have troubles after receiving Christ into their hearts.”
Jesus is blunt when he tells his followers: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33.
Our trouble can include accidents, illness, job layoffs, broken relationships, financial setbacks, family strife, the deaths of loved ones, and every kind of trouble known to this world.
So what gives? If God loves us, why doesn’t he take better care of us? Why doesn’t he make Christians immune from all the pains of life?
Only God knows the answer to that, but we can find our solution in the last part of Jesus’ statement: “I have overcome the world.” No matter whether our problems are caused by ourselves, others or circumstances, Jesus is always where we turn. Because Christ has overcome the world, we can overcome it through his strength, not our own. He is the answer to the problem-filled life.
That doesn’t mean our problems will end as soon as we surrender control to him. It does mean, however, that He will bring us through everything that happens to us: “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all …” – Psalm 34:19.
He doesn’t spare us from them all, he doesn’t shield us from them all, but he does deliver us. We may come out the other side with scars and losses, but we will come out the other side. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. – 1 Peter 4:12-13.
Once we understand that trouble is normal and to be expected in this life, it will not catch us off-guard as much when it comes. We don’t have to like it, we certainly can’t enjoy it, but we can always count on God’s help to get us through it.