It's hard being a Christian. It really is.
Life is hard. Every day we are attacked by forces not of this world, by spiritual forces fighting against us. Even if we're not Christians, these attacks happen. We just don't know it.
This world is full of sin. Its full of pain. Its full of suffering. Its full of injustice. Life sucks sometimes. We all have bad days where everything seems to go against us. That's the enemy.
Becoming a Christian doesn't make your life easier. It just makes you aware of the reality of what's going on in the world and why its happening.
Then you remember the truth. Not the lies the world feeds you. And it helps you fight back.
Yes, fight back. You heard me right.
God helps us to fight back. To take a stand. To reject those feelings of uselessness, of not being worth anything, of being a failure, of having no hope.
The truth, as Jesus said, sets us free. Emotionally, mentally it may seem otherwise, but we must hold on to the truth. Its all we have sometimes.
Because knowing Jesus isn't just about a feeling or an emotion. Its not all about feeling and acting right all the time. Sometimes we feel nothing at all.
When my mother died, that's how I felt. I felt numb. I felt nothing. Until it kicked in, when anger, fear and sheer grief overwhelmed me. But even then, I didn't feel God emotionally or have any sort of feeling. But I didn't have to - I knew He was there.
He was with me.
I wasn't alone.
I knew it.
God is always with us. He is in our corner, He's on our side. He's behind us and in front of us. He protects us.
Above all, He loves us and believes in us more than anyone on this earth ever can. He really does. No matter what we think of ourselves, our lives or our circumstances, He loves us and believes us. He's there for us.
Sometimes we don't understand why things happen if there's a God who loves us. The young boy shot in Liverpool, the Asian Tsunami. Innocent lives lost. Why?
We don't know. All we know is that its a fallen world, a fallen planet. The earth itself and its people have all been tarnished by it.
But we have a hope. Its real and its true. In our most desperate hour, that is often all we have to hang on to.
God loves us. Fact.
Jesus died for you and me whether you love Him or not. Fact.
God believes in us. Fact.
God is always with us, each individually and corporately. Fact.
The enemy cannot ultimately stand against God. Fact.
God is on our side. Fact.
Whenever things are bad, whenever God seems distant, whenever we're in pain - hold on to those truths if you can. Don't give up. God won't. I know its hard, from my own experience. It's so difficult to beleive these things sometimes.
But they are facts, they don't ever change. They are real. Hold on to them, never let them go.
The truth is He loves you and is there for you now and forever - and all the days inbetween.