I don’t know where many television evangelists get the message that we can have the assurance of health and wealth by believing in Jesus. This can be misleading to new Christians who expect that Jesus will take away all their troubles if they have enough faith.

Jesus said plainly, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). He also said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

Did people forget that Jesus was crucified, and that eleven of the twelve apostles were put to death for preaching about Jesus? The apostle John, the only one who died a natural death, wouldn’t die when they tried to boil him in a vat of oil, so they put him in isolation on the Island of Patmos. Being a Christian puts one in conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The good news is that Jesus gives us the strength to endure our trials and tribulations. He offers us peace in the midst of conflict: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:5).

Jesus never said it would be easy, but he promised it would be worth it in the end.

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

~Stephen Beagles