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You are not exempt from hardships: Following Christ ain’t
easy, but it’s worth it
Article By Empowering Everyday Women Ministries
Posted June 12, 2017
Photo Credit: Getty/Blend Images JGI/Tom Grill
Living a joy-filled, Christ-like life is supposed to be easy.

Wrong!

This is the kind of message that will clear the church pews. We are not exempt from hardships
because we love Jesus—it’s just the opposite. Following Christ ain’t easy.The devil comes harder
for those he doesn’t possess than those he does.

When you live for God, you have to be willing to go through the fire, believing that the Lord will pull
a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, bringing you out of the trial free of harm.

Suffering is part of the deal, and if you don’t believe me, just check out what Jesus says in Mark 8,
verses 34-36 in the NIV:

Mark 8:34- “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to
be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”

If you thought the Christian lifestyle was easy, think again. To be a true follower of Christ you must:

    1.) Deny yourself, meaning the fleshly desires we are all subject to when under the
    bondage of sin. Temptation doesn’t have to die, but your submission to it does once you are
    made free in Christ Jesus

    2.) Take up your cross. The cross denotes suffering. You have to be ready to suffer— not
    just for what you believe in, but in Whom you believe

    3.) And finally, you have to follow Christ—that is, obey Him, even when you feel like
    doing otherwise.


Mark 8:35- “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and
for the gospel will save it.”

Whoever saves their life will lose it; that is, whoever clings to the temporary pleasures this world has
to offer not only misses out on a life of true joy with Christ, but forfeits heaven. On the other hand, if
you give up the love and acceptance of the world for the sake of Christ, by sharing the good news
of the Gospel even when it’s unpopular, you can rest comfortably knowing that your faith is seen,
approved, and accepted by God. To be a Christian is to be a disciple, a true follower of Christ’s
precepts and example; no one makes it into heaven solely off of lip-service.


Mark 8:36- “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” What good
is it to pander to your every earthly desire and obtain all the world has to offer, when, in the end, it
will all pass away? Heaven lasts forever, but you can’t have both heaven and earth. If you desire
one, you must lose the other, because no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Which is the
better choice? When we go through trials and tribulations due to our stand as Christians, we are
sure to come out better and stronger than before, because we trust in a God who works all things
for our good (Romans 8:28). When we feast on the Word of God rather than trying to fulfill every
lustful desire, we will be truly satisfied (Matthew 4:4). Choosing a life lived in faith is the greatest
and best choice.

Be prepared to fight the good fight of faith, and take hold of the eternal life to which you have been
called (1 Timothy 6:12). It will be difficult a times, but then again, the things worth having never
come easy.


This article is part of Empowering Everyday Women Ministries' "Verse of the Day" series, where we
bring you various scriptures and break them down for practical, everyday usage, and
understanding. Be sure to check back daily on weekdays for updated articles.

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