Monday, April 14, 2014
 
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EASTER DEVOTIONAL

Life is not meant to be easy

By Pastor Tami Werschey-Kessinger

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[April 14, 2014]  Do you ever wonder why we have to go through so much bad in our lives? The struggles and the turmoil that we face, sometimes on a daily basis, serve a purpose. John 3:16-17 reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

However, it is important to know that Jesus did go through struggles and temptations, just as we do. He was tempted by Satan on several occasions, and the Jewish leaders refused to believe that He was the Son of God. Just as Jesus faced struggles, so did his disciples.

Paul writes about his hardships and struggles several times in the epistles. Acts 20:22-24 reads: "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace."

Paul accepted the fact that no matter what he did or where he went, there would always be struggles and hardships to face. However, he also knew that in the end it would all be worth everything he faced, because he knew the love of Christ Jesus. He knew what his purpose in life was: to spread the Gospel and to be faithful to the Lord God Almighty throughout the hardships, struggles, condemnation and possible torture he faced. Paul believed in what had been said in John 3:16-17. He knew he had been given eternal life through Jesus Christ, but to gain that he must face many trials and tribulations.

We also find Paul speaking to others about facing hardships in Acts 14:21-23, which reads: "They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. 'We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,' they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust."

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We must learn that life is not meant to be easy. We are not all lucky enough to have everything just handed to us on a silver platter. We must work hard and struggle to get those things that are important. We must face hardships in our lives. When we face these times, we learn to lean more on Christ rather than our own devices. If you want to have eternal life through Jesus Christ, you must face similar trials, tribulations and hardships in your life. Sometimes that means an incurable illness, loss of a job or a struggle that you are facing.

We need to remember we live in a fallen world. We are all sinners. BUT, Jesus Christ took our place on the cross. He died so that we could live. He took our sins upon himself and took them to the grave with him, washing away every black blotch on our souls. For that purpose, we may have to face struggles and hardships, but it will all be worth it in the end!

May God bless each of you this Easter season and always!

[By Pastor TAMI WERSCHEY-KESSINGER,
Hartsburg United Methodist Church]

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