You’ve probably heard the phrase “God knows what you’re going through”, or something along those lines. But maybe such phrases, which are heavy with truth, start to grow numb. We don’t stop and think about them. We just know them to be true and dig no deeper.
We go through pain, telling ourselves: “God knows what this is like. He understands.” One pain we face is betrayal. Often, it doesn’t hurt people to leave you in the dust. When I feel the bitterness and pain of being left behind, ignored, and wrongly accused, I remind myself: Jesus went through this. Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied Jesus. Jesus’ own hometown despised him. Jesus really does know what it is like when the people we love do not choose us.
It isn’t just “Jesus understands.” It is “Jesus lived it, too.”
We go to the Bible for comfort. Hope. Bits of encouragement to strengthen our faith. Often, we don’t want to see the bloody verses, or indulge on the deep stories. We can take a few upbeat words, apply them to our heart, and go on with our day. After all, being a Christian is supposed to be resembling ourselves after Christ, yes? Anymore, that must be nothing but frequent smiles, the ‘perfect’ words, and offering a kind hand. It seems, as Christians, we can’t ever have doubts or ever feel pain, because that wouldn’t be ‘Christian’ of us. Sound familiar?
The Bible has comfort, joy, hope, peace, and all good things. But it is also heavy. It shows a lot of war. Death. Adultery, killing, jealousy, wickedness, demonic happenings — the Bible doesn’t sugar coat these things. Why? Especially when Christians today seem very determined to sugarcoat life and make it all happy and smooth? Is it because the world was way darker back then, and things have gotten better? So, why bother with the dark side of things in the Bible, when our world isn’t that awful now?
Life is no less dark than it was in Bible times. It has become darker. Don’t believe me? Turn on the news. Read some news articles. You’ll probably be faced with murders (even the evil slaughtering of innocent toddlers), sex trafficking, and demonic occurrences. In America, about 125,000 babies are aborted each day. Each. Day. That is innocent blood of children shed each day. And not just shed — glorified. Just like in Biblical times, when babies were sacrificed to gods, we are just as wicked.
With all this evident evil in the world, why do we not dig deeper into the Word? Why do we only seek comfort from the Bible, like slapping a band aid on our aching hearts? We ask God to make our lives easier, to give us peace, to help us — why? God never promised life would be easy.
But the Bible is just stories, right? Some scenes on pages that we remind ourselves of when we need a spirit boost and some inspiration to keep going through our Monday. Imagine yourself in one of those places. Imagine losing everyone dear to you — like Job. That’s not a good Bible story, is it? And it doesn’t mean much until you apply it to your own life. How would your faith look like if you lost everything?
Bible ‘stories’ are not fiction. The ‘heroes’ are not perfect. They’re like us. Their pain was no less real or terrifying or agonizing just because of the time they lived in. Jesus told us we would be mocked for His sake. And yet, we beg Him to make our lives easier. It isn’t like Jesus wants us to go through hell on earth — He wants to walk through this world with us. Not against us. He has given us His Word to equip us. Equip us to do what? Fight.
The Bible shows us what it is like to live for Jesus. Its bloody. And we’ve probably immunized ourselves to that kind of pain through TV/books/etc, but guys… It is real. Jesus being crucified? Agonizing. Slow. And He could feel it all, the whole time, yet He died so we could find heaven through His gift.
Life will never be easy. Will never be only happy days, flower fields, and fresh rain. It will be full of pain — raw, unadulterated pain. Because here’s the hard facts: Jesus is not limited to our views of what a Christian life should look like. God chose Moses to lead the Israelites — Moses had killed, had blood on his hands, and he had a rash temper. God chose David to be king — David lusted after a married woman. God chose Rahab to shelter his spies — Rahab was a prostitute. And when Jesus hung on the cross, and the criminal hanging beside him said he believed, Jesus told him he would go to heaven. Does any of this sound easy? And don’t forget what happened to Jesus’ disciples — they were beaten, jailed, and executed (even in this day and age, Christians are still being killed for their faith).
So, looking at all of the pain and horrors, is there any hope? Yes.
God loves us. He’s unlimited. God does not want to send us to hell for our sins. He doesn’t want to watch us fail and flop like clueless little fish. God wants us to strengthen our faith in HIM. God wants us to seek HIS face and pray, and promises He’ll direct our paths. He wants us to repent, and our sins will be made white as wool. God never promised that this life would be easy. But He does promise eternal life through Jesus. Eternal. Life. In. Heaven. Think about that.
But we have to be willing to fight. Bleed. Scream. We have to face the reality that chains will wear into our flesh… That we will be targeted by Satan… That people will leave, lie, betray, hate, ridicule, and harm us. The Bible shows us just how angry Satan is at us, and just how tempting he can be — but GOD WINS. We can have faith in that truth, no matter what battle we face.
We win in Christ. That is what makes the Bible beautiful. Through the deaths, pain, and battles — God is always, always there. And He is in control. Just like then, He is with us now. The world might be darker. But Satan will fall. Take courage. God has already won.