Being a Christian involves a lifetime of hard work

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    From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

    Dear Dr. Graham:

    I am discouraged because I thought that by becoming a Christian all of my troubles would vanish. They haven’t; yet I still believe that God has forgiven me, and I don’t want to turn my back on Him. What am I not understanding?

    — N.B.

    Dear N.B.: We must beware of any belief system that claims “happy-ever-after-endings” on earth. There are many voices that claim that becoming a Christian erases all problems; that it will lead to earthly wealth and success. This is not true. Becoming a believer in Christ is a wonderful new beginning, but it isn’t the end of pain or problems. It is the beginning of facing up to them. Being a Christian involves a lifetime of hard work, dedicated study and difficult decisions.

    Living the Christian life is serious business. If we have our eyes upon ourselves, our problems, and our pain, we cannot lift our eyes upward. Just as a child looks up to a parent as they walk together, so are we to look up to Christ and follow Him.

    The majority of difficulties believers experience can be traced to a lack of Bible study and praying to the Lord for direction, correction, comfort, and assurance that He is with us every step of the way.

    Christianity is not an insurance policy against life’s ills and troubles; it is about glorifying Him in the midst of them.

    He may not take away trials or make detours for us, but He strengthens us through them. This becomes part of our testimony to the unbelieving world — and it has the ability to point others to the Savior. We must learn to let the Word of God feed and strengthen us in living out Christ’s message to the world as we depend upon the Holy Spirit to teach us.