The Christian life isn’t ‘safe’. And that’s a good thing. Here’s why.
The Christian life is many things. Joyful, wondrous, lovely, beautiful. But it’s not safe.
The first time I heard this was sometime a couple months ago at Westside Church (church here in Vancouver), from Norm Funk, the Senior Pastor who was preaching that morning. He didn’t go into much detail on this, because it was obvious (to me, at least) what it meant.
It’s not safe. In a true Christian community of fellowship and sanctification, you’re going to be continually shaped and molded and crafted into the person God wants you to be. There are times, that will come no matter what we say or do, where this will be incredibly painful and hard. You’ll have to repent of things that you hold extremely close. You’ll have to, in the name of God’s glory and being a disciple, do things or say things that will be hard to do or say. You will have to be accountable, with everything that entails, to your church brethren. You will have to place God above all else, even family. And when this last one brings you into conflict with family on account of God, you’ll have to choose God.
This is good, because it’s in our best interest. Because no growth comes without growing pains. No improvement comes without sweat and soreness. No maturity comes without hardship and hard lessons learnt through experience.
Could God make our growth and sanctification effortless and painless? I think so, yeah, He can do anything so why not. Why doesn’t He? No clue. I’d assume (but this is only an assumption as I don’t know the mind of the Lord outside of what He’s revealed through Scripture) that it’s because it’s the best way for us to grow, for us to learn things and grow through blood, sweat and tears than us just getting our sanctification handed to us gift-wrapped in a neat little box. But that’s just an assumption.
When the hard times come, yes, pray to God to see you through them. But try to see how God might be using them to grow you and mature you into the fullness of Christ. Pray on it, abide in Scripture, and then proceed forward and suffer and endure hardship and trial to the glory of God.
That’s it for now. Grace and peace.