I use to be one of those Christians who was scared to admit the benefits that come with surrendering completely to Christ and walking with Him. I saw how full the world was of pain, hate, evil, bitterness and revenge and it almost seemed like anything against this norm was frowned upon.
Some Christians wanted you to always publicly declare that following Jesus was difficult, living without sinning is a struggle and pain and death are part of the journey, they’d rather you always boast in the difficulties, trials, tribulations and sufferings than the ease by the Spirit, blessing, joy and peace.
It made me downplay my testimonies, it made me begin to double check myself for not lusting after men, it made me expect to experience a challenging and difficult walk with God. So I even began to pray and ask God for more difficult situations, more opportunities to face scenarios that the rest of the body termed difficult, more avenues to just share my testimony from hardship to convenience.
Instead, God took me through this phase of understanding His mode of work in a mans life, He started by helping me see how uniquely and ‘be-spokely’ He worked with men. No two journeys were exactly alike no matter how similar.
He showed me how His walk with us would use the same principles, but never take the same shape or experiences.
God never expected us to glorify pain and suffering, He made us aware that it was definitely necessary for the journey and our growth, but He also assured us that in the midst of it, His peace would keep us. God also acknowledges pain, death and hurt, but He made it clear that we still needed to be of good cheer because indeed, He has overcome the world.
So it was perfectly okay that I chose to rely on the Spirit’s enabling power to live above sin rather than complain about how difficult it was, it was okay that I chose to see the light in the darkest of situations rather than murmur about my blindness.
Christianity wasn’t intended to glorify anything or anyone other than Jesus. Jesus went through processes of life but He still enjoyed the benefits that came with fellowshipping with the Father. I think it is totally okay for us to share our experiences from one point to another in our journeys, but I don’t believe that we equate the unpleasant experiences to the presence or absence of Christ. The only evidence of God is God, not wealth or health, or pain or suffering.
The Christian work is definitely not a walk in the park, it is not always smiles and roses, we only need to look at the disciples to see this, but the difference with them then and now is that we have the Holy Spirit giving us Zoe (The God life) which is an empowerment to walk and live out the Christian life.
God knew already that by our strength, we could not live the sin-free life, and that’s why He made provision for an empowering Spirit. This Spirit doesn’t nullify the pain or inconvenience either, but It keeps our mind on the end goal, on the purpose of all of it, which is to be conformed to the Image of Christ.
While we share and partake in the suffering of Christ, we should also remember that we also partake in the glory which will be revealed and is already in manifestation through the work of the Spirit in us.