Here in America, for certain, we’re always looking for a faster easier way to fix things, for instance: all of the diet pills that are supposed to help you drop the pounds as if they were melting butter. They don’t really work, and it’s not the healthiest way to lose weight. Sorry to burst your bubble, but being a Christian isn’t easy either. It’s not a quick fix to all of life’s problems. You’re still going to have hurts and difficulty in this life, and depending on where you live or where you travel, you can be persecuted for your faith. Jesus even knew before he died on the cross to save us from our sins and bring us to everlasting life that following him was and was still going to be difficult. He says in Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Yes. You read it correctly. You are blessed, and you should rejoice and be glad. I know. Now you’re thinking… she’s crazy. How can I be happy about that? Now before I move on let me address the confusion of being “happy”. Here in America our view of happy isn’t quite right. Joy does not equal our view of happiness all the time. Yes you can be joyful and happy, but sometimes you’re going to hurt and not feel “happy”. But God is our sustainer and brings us explainable peace and comfort which makes us joyful. There is nothing better than the joy found in the Lord! Yes you will still have problems, and hardships, but the Lord gives you an explainable joy through it all!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls”1 Peter 1:3-9. The dare for this month is unclear. It can be a multitude of things. For those of you that have never accepted Christ, I dare you to! I dare you to find out more about the joy that Christ brings! Go find a trusted Christian friend, family member, colleague, pastor, etc, and talk to them! This joy is priceless, and makes life worth every second. So will you take the dare? Will you believe?