Come and explore the challenges and joys of following Jesus.
Written by Leona Grant
I remember the time the boy band ‘One Direction’ came to perform in my hometown. Some of my school friends convinced me to go and although I was reluctant, the tickets were free so I figured it would probably be worthwhile. I was wrong!
The boys turned up almost 2 hours late, the weather was freezing cold and when they did eventually turn up, they sang 2 quick songs. I was too far away from the stage to see them properly and when I eventually made it home, half frozen, I remember thinking, ‘that so wasn’t worth it!’
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I hate more than putting a lot of my time, energy or money into something, which ends up not being worthwhile. We can sometimes feel the same way with Christianity. Being a Christian can be fun and exciting but it’s natural to sometimes wonder if it’s really worth all the effort.
- Commitment and Discipline
Being a Christian requires commitment and discipline. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This basically means we are to put our own desires aside and take up God’s desires. Our lives can no longer be about pleasing ourselves but rather living to please God, no matter the cost.
Growing and developing in the Christian faith takes commitment too. It’s not always easy to spend time praying or reading the Bible when you would much rather be in bed watching Netflix but making time to get to know God is important.
- Your Earthly Status
You will not always be considered ‘cool’ for being a Christian, so if ‘being popular’ features high on your list of priorities, you need to seriously consider your priorities before committing your life to Jesus. Some people may even make unfair assumptions about you before getting to know you simply because of their negative views on Christianity.
Sadly, being a Christian isn’t all about summer night BBQs or singing songs around a campfire. The Christian walk in reality can be very challenging, discouraging and at times, frustrating. So why is it that so many still choose to persist in their faith?
Thankfully, Christians are given great assurances and reasons for hope. The following points are just a few of the reasons why many choose to stand firm in their faith.
- God is our helper
The Christian life does require commitment and discipline. Similar to any relationship, if you want to get to know someone better, you have to spend time with them and the more you get to know them, the more natural this becomes. In challenging times of life, we often have to be more intentional about spending time with God, although it should not remain to be treated as a chore. We can get to the place where talking with him throughout the day is as natural and as easy as talking with a close friend. But remember it is God who empowers us when we find things difficult. When we are struggling to ‘deny ourselves’ or to shake off the negative view others may have of us, Jesus through his Holy Spirit enables us to do so.
- Part of Gods Family
As a Christian, you become part of a wider family. You become connected to lots of believers simply through your shared faith in Jesus and as a result, you can relate to new people in a deep and meaningful way.
Community is a really big part of the Christian faith and we are therefore encouraged to meet with, love and be supported by the network of believers in our lives- whether that is through church, youth group or school.
- Relationship with Jesus
At its heart, Christianity is about a relationship with God. We are friends with God through Jesus.
Following Jesus means we have someone:
– We can always count on;
– Who knows you inside out and cares about every detail of your life;
-Who is amazingly wise and always willing to give you counsel;
-Who is never failing, unbelievably compassionate, incredibly graceful, completely steadfast, forever faithful and full of love;
– Who created the universe!
- Purpose and Eternal Life
Living for Christ means each day on earth is filled with purpose and when we eventually leave this world, we can look forward to the amazing promise of eternal life in heaven.
Being a Christian of course comes with its ups and downs but when you weigh it all up, it’s a life that’s totally worth it!