11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
If we follow the wisdom and will of God, then generally, we can expect to live a long life when compared to a life lived outside of the wisdom and will of God.
However, there are always two sides to an idea.
On one hand, those who follow the ways of Jesus will live a more fulfilled life than they did before He became the Lord of their life. The teachings of Jesus bring us out of destructive thoughts and behaviors that damage our minds, bodies, and relationships. The teachings of Jesus show us how to love God and others and experiencing His grace despite our shortcomings brings a great freedom to us.
As Jesus said, “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
On the other hand, those who follow Jesus often experience great difficulty in this life. Sometimes that difficulty arises out of chastisement. Sometimes that difficulty arises because we need to grow. Sometimes that difficulty arises because this world hates those who follow Jesus and who stand up for what is good and true.
As Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world the world would love you, but you are chosen out of this world, therefore the world hates you. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
When we see things going well for a Christian, we want to rejoice with them because we see that God has blessed them. We should be glad for our brethren during their prosperous times in this world.
When we see things going “bad” for a Christian, we might begin to wonder what they did wrong. We might think that God has removed blessing from them. There are times of chastisement, but it is also true that the closer a person follows Christ the more likely they are to suffer for His name.
The more a Christian wants to become Christ like, the more trouble they often suffer. Putting on Christ through faith is simple but having our inner selves conformed to His image is painful. However, as we grow and change, we find that “his burden is easy, and his yoke is light.” We begin to experience that “abundant” life.
There are times of peace and there are times of trouble, but all times are blessing.
So, we should support our brethren when they are going through hard times, and as strange as it might seem we should rejoice with them just as we rejoiced with them when things were going well.
As Paul the apostle said, “rejoice in the Lord always.”
Whether we ourselves are experiencing times of ease in Jesus Christ or times of trouble, we know that it is the working of the Lord and He has something good planned for us—and the end of all things for a Christian is eternal life. We might not feel like rejoicing, but in trusting Jesus and in praising His name we will find peace during hard times.
“Again I say, rejoice.”
Scripture cited within this article can be found in John 10, John 15, and Philippians 4. If you want to know more about my take on Christian chastisement and suffering, visit this link: https://thelordalone.com/2020/07/25/chastisement-and-suffering-complete-series/
Do you have a story to share about how following Jesus added fulfillment to your life? Do you have a story to share about how following Jesus meant suffering in this life? Feel free to share, comment, or ask questions. You can also reach out in a private message or email.