We all know that living as believers is difficult and challenging, especially in today’s world. It seems as if everywhere we turn we’re bombarded with what the world deems suitable and appropriate regardless of how God views the matter. Just resisting the sheer volume of the world’s morals and values can be exhausting and tiresome.
And it’s not just morals and values — God is often ignored and left out of everyday life. Not too long ago prayers were said in the classroom, at every sporting event and before every political gathering. Prayers were common and expected.
But the Christian life isn’t challenging only because of what the world throws at us. The Christian life can be challenging because it demands change and the toughest kind of change. This means turning away from things that satisfy our sinful urges and impulses and instead turn to those things that bring honor to God.
This requires a different way of thinking. A way of thinking that focuses on God and pleasing him, instead of on ourselves and our own immediate gratification. The apostle Paul calls this a transformation of the mind (Romans 12:2).
This transformation sometimes requires us to stand up for Biblical principles. But even that can be challenging because when believers resist, we’re told, “Jesus said to love.” That statement alone can cause a believer to turn a blind eye to a sinful, worldly practice because it’s true — Jesus did indeed tell us to love.
The problem with that statement is that the world often leaves out the most important part of that command to love, and that is to love God first and foremost (Mark 12:30-31). If the world actually did love God above all else, then we’d all agree with only what God deems right and good. No more would we be arguing with the world about morals and values.
But that isn’t the case. We live in a world that tells us to “choose your own way” morality. It’s a morality that uses seduction to prey on our weaknesses — weaknesses like selfishness, greed, envy, and arrogance.
And while it may be difficult at times to resist the lures of the world, take a look at a few promises from God that the world can never offer:
Jesus Christ — a friend for life (Matthew 28:20).
Victory over sin (1 John 5:4).
Becoming more and more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18)
A life filled with joy and peace (Colossians 3:15; 1 Peter 5:7).
Life in eternity (John 3:15; 1 John 2:25).
These are promises that far outweigh anything this world has to offer, and they’re promises we all need to remember.
Donna Hughey is an award winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.