How many times are we told that God blesses the righteous and then we start following Christ and things get harder? It’s crazy. We are baptized, we testify of Him, and then we are ridiculed. Or mocked. Or maybe we get dumped. Something bad happens and we wonder if God even has a plan for us.
Following Christ was supposed to make things better. But have we ever looked at the path that Christ leads us on? When He says come follow me, He invites us on His path back to the Father. And all the bushes or obstacles in the way, He clears the way but the path doesn’t turn into some sort of red carpet.
As one of my favorite songs states “If you promise pain, it can’t be meaningless.” Christ’s path is full of pain. Think about it. He served, fed, healed, prayed, withstood temptation, did everything right. And He was betrayed, accused, rejected, mocked, beaten, abandoned, denied, and then ultimately killed. Look at the apostles and disciples of the Bible. Didn’t they suffer as well. Christ’s path didn’t lead to a worldly paradise.
The peace and comfort that Christ promises is within ourselves. It isn’t in our surroundings. The storms may rage against us but He calms the troubled waters of our soul. His Gospel brings peace because it brings happiness amidst turmoil. It tells of a loving Father who is waiting for us to return to Him. It tells of a paradise that this world cannot even comprehend. The Gospel teaches that death is overcome. That the chains of sin are broken. That the lonely are not alone.
And though things may appear to end badly for us… In reality they don’t.
It would appear that it all ended badly for Christ. He did everything right and everything wrong happened.
But then Good Friday… Why is it called Good? It was His death. How could that possibly be good? Well the word good is actually originates from the word god… It is God’s Friday. In that moment everything wrong was turned right. That’s what the Atonement of Jesus Christ does. It turns all that is wrong in our lives right.
Christ died. And then three days later, He rose. He overcame. Death was defeated. Sin was defeated. It was all conquered by that ultimate act of love. But pain was necessary for that testament of love.
And if pain was necessary for Christ, of course it is necessary for us. It is necessary for the perfection of love. How can we love like He did if we never feel pain? So not only will we encounter pain, will things go “wrong”… But Christ’s path promises that they will.
Following Christ means that things will go wrong. But that you can overcome. You can overcome because Christ overcame. All that is wrong can and will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.