Why is My Life Troubled as a Christian?

Good Morning to everyone listening today to our series on the hard questions of life.

Grace and Peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God Loves you, and I love you, but it God that counts.

Today's hard question is: "Why is my life troubled as a Christian?"

As a pastor, I hear this question directed to me from time to time. "Why is my life troubled as a Christian?" I thought things were supposed to get better after I invited Jesus Christ into my life? The story is the same many times. A person is experiencing a crises in their life or they feel the leading of Lord to return to Church and come to know him, and "wham!" the big one, crises that is hits. It is hard to understand.

The time that sticks in my mind the clearest was several years ago a young business man was saved by the grace of God through accepting Jesus Christ into his life and he was delivered from his addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol. There was great joy in this young man's life...for a while, that is. This man began to hear the call of God on his life to preach. The next thing he knew, his wife filing for divorce. Wham! That killed his plans to be a preacher, a husband, and a father! He asked the question, "Why is my life so troubled as a Christian?"

I remember another preacher telling me a story about a fairly well to do farmer and one of his farm hands. Now the farmer was not a Christian and neither was his farm hand. One day the farm hand came in all excited about what had happened to him at a little church revival at is sisters church. He explained he went with his sister to the revival to please her, and when the evangelist gave the invitation to come forward, confess your sin, and be saved from eternal hell unto eternal life in Christ Jesus, he just felt something tugging at his heart to go up there to the altar. He explained, I got up went, and now I have a new life in Jesus. His boss, the farmer, just did not quite understand.

Shortly after his conversion, our farm hand friend lost his sister to an untimely death, he began to have other problems. His boss, the farmer asked, "Why is your life so troubled as a Christian? I thought this new life, as a Christian, you have been talking about was supposed to be better." It is," the hand replied. "Then how is it that your God does not keep you from all this trouble and grief?" his boss asked. "I, I, just don't know how to explain it, I just keep my eyes on Jesus." The farmer shook is head, perplexed and just smiled.

Later in the year hunting season came and it was time to hunt quail. The farmer brought his hand to care for the dogs and carry the shot quail. As they came to a thicket, the dogs began to point. As the quail were flushed from the bushes, they took to the air in a flutter of noise, boom, his shotgun thundered as two quail fell to the ground, one dead, and the other with an injured wing. The injured quail streaked off on the ground to escape and the farmer gave his hand the order to send the dogs after the injured quail.

At that moment the farm hand received insight into his answer to the question his boss had asked him earlier in the year. With a great smile on his face he said to his boss, "now I can answer your question, Why is my life so troubled as a Christian?" He said, you see, "I was like those two quail!" He continued, "The dead one was like me, before I knew Jesus as my savior, I was dead in sin. The injured one, trying to fly away from death, is me today, trying to fly to heavenly glory here on earth. That ole devil, don't need to send is dogs after the dead ones, because he knows they are already his. He sends his dogs after the one's struggling here on earth, trying to fly to heaven." "I see," said the farmer, "I think I understand now." He was still a bit perplexed, but he did not smile this time.

Jesus Christ never said that being a Christian was going to be paradise here on earth. In fact, in (Matthew 10:34-42 NIV) Jesus says, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. {35} For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- {36} a man's enemies will be the members of his own household."

Jesus also tell and explains a parable warning of this and the sometime terrible consequences that troubles can have on the Christians new and old. We read in the Bible, (Matthew 13:1-23 NIV) That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. {2} Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. {3} Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. {4} As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. {5} Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. {6} But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. {7} Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. {8} Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. {9} He who has ears, let him hear."

As we read down a little further in our Bible, Jesus explains the parable, He says:
{18} "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: {19} When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. {20} The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. {21} But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. {22} The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. {23} But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

The answer to the question, "Why is my life troubled as a Christian?" can be understood in the following:

1) The news is that troubles come, and they are used by the devil, Satan, himself to make sure the word of God will not take root in our soul and bring us to eternal life. He will work within our troubles to defeat our fruitfulness which is reaching and sustaining others in this world for Christ. Matthew Henry, the great biblical commentator, writes, "Careless, trifling hearers, are an easy prey to Satan; who, as he is the great murderer of souls, so he is the great thief of sermons, and will be sure to rob us of the word, if we take not care to keep it."

2) The bad news is that if we are not grounded in our faith in Jesus Christ our troubles can become so great that we may become separated from the sustaining presence of God. If they become too great and our confession of Jesus Christ is only in word and not in faith, we like the seeds in the parable may perish! The "evil one" will snatch it away from our hearts. The Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ will have no root, and last only a short time. The troubles of this world will quickly cause us to fall away. And the worries will choke us to spiritual death, so God can do nothing for or through us. Brothers and sisters, that is a bad place to be! I can only think of one place worse. To go back to our quail hunting story, that is being one of the dead quail!

3) Now to the Good News! Jesus may not always deliver us from our troubles in this world. In fact, he never promised that he would. But, he did promise that deliver us "through" them and give us the grace and peace to rise above them. Jesus warns us about Satan using the troubles and worries of this world to choke the life of Christ out of us, but he says that if we keep our eyes fixed upon him as our savior, if we cry out to Him in our little faith, He will deliver us through the storm.

I am reminded of Peter the disciple trying to walk on the water in a storm to go to Jesus.

(Matthew 14:25-34 NIV) During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. {26} When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. {27} But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." {28} "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." {29} "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. {30} But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" {31} Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" {32} And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. {33} Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

You see brothers and sisters, the answer to the question, "Why is my life troubled as a Christian?" is:

1) Jesus never promised peace on this earth when we became Christians by faith.

2) Ole Satan is the enemy of the word of God and will use our troubles to "snatch" his word from our hearts before we become a servant of the Living God. He will use our worries and troubles to choke out the power of Jesus to invite others to His loving fellowship and eternal life.

3) Jesus promises us that he will give us a special grace and peace to walk through our troubles if we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus and cry out to him in our little faith.

Jesus tells us in (John 14:27 NIV) "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

As the children of God, by faith in Jesus Christ for our salvation, the final answer to our question, "Why is my life troubled as a Christian?" It is because we have victory over our troubles in the name Jesus and like the seed that fell on good soil, in Jesus parable, we are like the man who hears the word and understands it. We shall produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Are you troubled as a Christian? Fix your eyes again upon your savior and cry out to him in your little faith and he will deliver you through your troubles unto victory.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your savior? Turn to him, confess your sin, and invite him into your life. Just pray, "Come in Jesus."

The Bible tells us (Philippians 4:4-8 NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! {5} Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. {6} Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. {7} And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Remember, God loves you and I love, but it's God that counts!
Glory to God. Amen.

Would you like to know Jesus Christ as your savior and receive eternal life?

I want to know Jesus Christ as my Savior!

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