Easy or Hard?

Posted by Jeffrey Smith April 5th, 2016 2,006 Views 0 Comments

John 16:33- "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Matthew 11:29-30- "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

I hear it all the time. "Being a Christian is hard." "we are not called to have an easy life as a Christian." I shake my head. I have been called a "feel good pastor", a man with his head in the clouds, and a whole lot worse because I proclaim that being a Christian IS indeed easy. 

I'm not saying that everything is roses all the time, but I have to tell you that when we have Jesus, it is easy.

We often try and complicate things to the point that it becomes hard. The truth is literally called the good news. Yet we constantly have an appetite for bad news. Turn on your television and scroll through the titles. Look at the night time news report, and you will find enough to keep you up for days. 

What are we searching for? It is all in scripture, it is all laid out for us. The lives of the disciples changed dramatically when they met Jesus. They were no longer nobodies, but somebody's. They belonged to Jesus. When you belong to Jesus, you have His assurance, His yoke. They had true meaning to their lives. Look at all the people who were affected by Jesus in the intimate encounters. They were all healed, and restored, they were removed of their transgressions, their fears, their hopelessness. That is the same today, and I am living proof! After Jesus died at the cross, and rose in glory, He met the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias) (John 21). They had been fishing all night and had zilch to show for it. When Jesus showed up, He told them to drop their nets again, and when they did, they caught 153 fish, so much so they thought their nets would break, and yet scripture says that their nets did not tear (John 21:11)! Why was that even in scripture? Because those nets were not designed to hold that many fish at one time. That is the enormity of the catch. Scripture further points out, that it was only 100 yards from shore! Why were 153 large fish that close to shore? Because when Jesus shows up, things get a lot easier. That is why! How difficult would it have been if they caught all those fish in the middle on the Sea of Galilee? That would have been a huge amount of strain and work to drag them back to shore. 

I can tell you that life with Jesus is a lot less hard than without Him. Why is that? Because He is alive, and with us. Because He is on every shore, in every Sea that we are on. What does that mean? That means that as long as we keep seeing Jesus as alive, resurrected and near us, we will always be in a state of ease. If you are alone, see Jesus on the couch next to you. If you are going through sickness, see Jesus next to your bed. If you are going through lack, see Jesus on the shore leading you to the biggest catch you can handle. He is in everything we are a part of. Here is the catch (no pun intended). Our whole job is to not let our hearts be troubled. Things may look troubling, but scripture says, "But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)." Take heart translated from the Greek means to be of cheer, and be of courage. In a deeper context, it can mean that we have to trust that Jesus has literally overcome the world, and if we trust in that fact, and we carry His yoke, than we too indeed will overcome this world through Him. When we are yoked with Jesus it is His work, it is His overcoming power that flows into our lives. It is not Jeff Smith's power, or yoke, I tried that and it is hard. It is Jesus' yoke that I prefer. That is what is easy. You may want the difficult road, the hard road. There is payoff there. There is a sense of self-fulfillment that is alluring, but do not be fooled. That road is indeed hard, and that may be what those guys accusing me are talking about. Regardless, Jesus is the answer to everything we face. Not just the big things, everything. We all have a choice, and that is our freedom, and I may look like a feel-good guy, but the truth is I feel good because of Jesus, not because I have lost touch with the truth. I have received it fully in my heart, and I'll "take" that kind of heart!

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