Christian Life, The Blessings & Challenges!
Living the Christian life definitely has its blessings, rewards and the ultimate gift given to the believer which is salvation, but living the Christian life does come with its challenges as well. You'd be surprised how many who profess to be Christians believe that life should be good and easy, and that there really shouldn't be any troubles anymore. However, if one truly pays attention to the scriptures, Jesus did say "if any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Luke 9: 23).
We exist in a modern, technological world where everything is fast-paced and everything is at the push of a button or a swipe of a finger. In the current society that we live in, absolutes of morality seemingly no longer exist and moral relativism is the common norm for the way one governs themselves on a daily basis. One might expect this way of thinking from those who have no faith, or those who consider themselves to be agnostic, or even those of differing faiths but what is surprising is that the influence of relativistic morality is seen among those who call themselves Christians. We can see this in the every day living of some Christians who feel that since certain things in our hedonistic, materialistic culture is generally accepted as the norm for example, cohabitation with ones significant other, premarital sexual encounters, living the bar culture/night life, gambling, etc - that as a Christian it's ok to live and do the same. However if one goes through the scriptures especially in the New Testament, you will see that even apostle Paul had to deal with a similar mentality in his day. Many Christians who lived in certain areas like Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia and such were incorporating the ways of their respective societies into their daily Christian living, simply because it was a societal norm and custom. Apostle Paul had to rebuke and correct their wrong thinking with specific letters to the churches in those areas. If a term was to be ascribed to this kind of christian, it would be called the 'Compromising Christian'.
Another challenge many Christians face is one's own inner struggles and fears. Many believers have the 'superstar-christian' mentality, but if the truth be told a lot of that is just a facade covering the inner turmoils and wounds one is afraid to show and reveal. These inner warfares can wreak havoc on one's heart and soul if the issues are not dealt with promptly and correctly. We have to realize that life is truly a process, a journey with a series of tests/trials, tragedies and triumphs. The scriptures remind us what to do when we find ourselves in any of these circumstances. It states in 1 Peter 5: 7, "that casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." .. in Philippians 4:6-8 the bible declares, "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." If a term was to be ascribed to this kind of christian, it would be called the 'Struggling Christian'.
Ultimately what the Lord wants us to be is an 'Overcoming Christian'. The scripture reminds us in Revelation 12:11, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
As true believers in Jesus we can be over-comers by having His presence in our lives faithfully, staying in His Word abidingly and allowing His Spirit to lead and direct our steps continually. As Christians there are many tough issues and controversies in life that we face; the question is how do we handle these concerns in our own lives? Do we stand on the word of God and His principles or do we follow the tides and influences of our society? As followers of Christ, we have to realize that how we answer these issues will undoubtedly have a determinative effect ultimately on our future, spiritual growth and eternal standing.