"Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." -2 Timothy 2:3
Easy Street. It is a term defined as meaning “a condition of wealth or ease.” It is the goal of the vast majority of people. They long for Easy Street … and envy those who appear to be living there.
Take the recent Powerball Lottery for example. The odds of winning the $1.5 billion dollar Powerball were 1 in 292 million. Look up “next to impossible” in the dictionary and you will find those odds. Yet 635 million tickets were sold. I’m thinking of a famous quote, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Why would so many people waste their money on next to impossible odds like that? To get rich, of course. You see, when you get rich, then you can live the good life … then you’ll be “movin’ on up” with George and Weezie Jefferson to buy a house on Easy Street.
Christians are not immune to adopting the Easy Street philosophy. The vast majority of us desire (and subconsciously expect?) to live problem-free lives. I mean if we walk with God, He should certainly keep His little darlings from ever skinning a knee, right? Wrong.
Here is the bottom line. We like Easy Street, but God does not.
Mark it down, anything worthwhile in life takes effort, energy, hardship, blood, sweat, and tears. Jesus was and is God. As God, He could do anything. Yet, He had to experience the excruciating horrors of the cross in order to purchase our salvation. There was no other way except down the Via Dolorosa—the way of suffering. Without His suffering, we were doomed. Life for Jesus was anything but easy.
A NEW MINDSET
The Apostle Paul was arguably the greatest Christian who ever lived. Was his Christian life easy? Goodness no! He suffered greatly for the cause of Christ, culminating in his arrest and beheading under the Roman Emperor Nero. Paul never once thought the Christian life should be all honey and no bees. From the beginning, he knew there would be major suffering associated with following Jesus (see Acts9:16). Therefore, he adopted the mindset of a good soldier of Christ Jesus … a mindset all believers need to have.
- A good soldier knows the going will be tough.
- A good soldier knows the enemy is real.
- A good soldier knows the battle will be fierce.
- A good soldier knows there will be hardships and suffering.
- A good soldier knows that quitting is not an option.
- A good soldier knows that Easy Street is not found on the battlefield.
- A good soldier knows though the battle must be fought, Jesus has already won the war!
Would you join me in adopting the mindset of a good soldier of Christ Jesus? Remember, this world is NOT our home. “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). We are in the Lord’s army. Easy Street is not a place on earth for the child of God. Easy Street will come one day when the Lord takes us to glory. Until that day, let’s roll up our sleeves, take the hits in stride, and keep trusting our General until He calls us home.
Pastor Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries
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Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Fear is one of Satan’s key weapons. If he can keep us fearful, he can keep us faithless. But God has called us to courageously believe His Word, to step up and step out in faith. And when we do, God shows up and works miracles. Join Pastor Jeff Schreve as he encourages us to overcome our fears with faith in this inspiring series called COURAGEOUS: How God Shows Up When You Step Up.