Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
- 1 Peter 5:8
The Christian life is the greatest life there is. God takes a life that was empty and aimless and headed to a certain judgment, and He turns it around and transforms it. He removes all of our sin. That is more than enough right there, but then He puts the righteousness of Jesus Christ into our spiritual bank account. That is called justification. He removes the guilt that haunted us, fills the emptiness inside of us, and literally takes residence in our hearts. This all comes as a result of the gospel, believed and followed. That is the good news.
The bad news is there are some new problems that come along with all of that. You get rid of an old set of problems and inherit new ones. As the great Bible commentator Ray Stedman said, "A Christian is one who is completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble."
Once you become a Christian, you have a very aggressive adversary that has set his crosshairs on you. That adversary is the devil, Satan, and he wants to undermine you. He wants to bring you down. The Bible warns that "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). That word "persecuted" means to be hunted, to be harassed.
So we need to be aware of that and not be surprised when we discover that the Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground. I think a lot of people believe in a watered-down gospel, and thus they have a watered-down faith that, in reality, isn't faith at all. They have heard so many sermonettes, they have turned into Christianettes.
If you live a godly life, the reality is that persecution will follow.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
Used with Permission