Sometimes I hear people talk about Christianity as if it is a burden.  They view Jesus’ teaching as hard and difficult, as if adherence to His words might cramp their style and ruin their life.  I have a hard time relating to this type of thinking.  I’m of the opinion that Jesus’ life is the best type of life there is.  He offers a qualitatively and quantitatively better type of existence.  I’m a Christian, not just because of the prospect of heaven, but because of the pay-off in the here and now.  I firmly believe that life is better for those who follow Jesus, even though there may be pain and suffering.

Jesus concurred.  He taught that there is an otherworldly life available to all who know Him.  He said, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (see John 10:10).  The word rendered “abundance” depicts something which overflows, and is thus better.   Sadly, many Christians never realize what they have in Jesus.  They exist as shadows of what God intended, living lives similar to those of unbelievers.  They mistakingly view Jesus’ commands as a drag.  They don’t see that He has their best in mind.  How can believers move from dread over Jesus to delight?  I believe they need to understand the nature of the good life Jesus’ offers. Consider three realities.

Jesus gives peace. 

In one of his letters, Peter referenced a “peace” which comes from the knowledge of God (see 2 Peter 1:2).  The disposition of which he spoke wasn’t a mere fleeting feeling of serenity.  It was an overarching, ongoing experience of God’s goodness and blessing.  Jesus promised to give us such tranquility of the soul (see John 14:27) to all who follow Him.  But we have to believe Him in order to experience it (see Philippians 4:6-9).  Real peace won’t come to those who try to do things their way.  The abundant life is possible, and it is available for the taking.  We just have to submit to Jesus’ pattern of living.

Jesus gives Power. 

The life Jesus offers is also better, because of the way in which He gives strength to those who follow Him.  In His final promise to His disciples, Jesus gave a promise concerning this issue (see Acts 1:8).  Through the Holy Spirit, we have strength to do all types of things and to face all types of circumstances (see Philippians 4:10-13).  No matter what life throws our way, we have the ability to persevere.  Who wouldn’t want such help from God?

Jesus gives Promises.

The Bible is replete with assurances concerning God’s blessings, and all of them are true (see 2 Corinthians 1:20)!  We have promises for life, finances, marriage, parenting, friendships, work, rest, and eternity.  We simply have to appropriate them.  When I consider all of the things God has decreed for us, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to live the Christian life.  Who wouldn’t want eternal peace, love, joy, and security?  Why would anyone try to deal with anxiety, fear, regret, or loneliness alone?  Real life is available. We just have to claim it by claiming the promises of God!

Dr. Patrick Latham

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