Saved with Difficulty
by Dave Miller
If a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? 1 Peter 3
I want to quit!
We all have those moments. Sometimes these moments build to an unexplainable frustration. Sometimes these moments turn into a blame game in our minds. Sometimes these moments lead us to a hopeless perspective. Sometimes these moments just come out of the blue. No matter what, the moments we want to quit are always hard to handle. The idea of settling and becoming satisfied with the status quo seems easier to take than another disappointment or failed attempt. But then your life’s purpose comes calling and you know quitting is not an option.
First and Second Peter paint a picture of following Jesus foreign to the conversation about the Christian expectation in the West. Trials and suffering FOR doing good is the norm in these epistles. The apostle Peter reminds early believers difficulty is the expectation not the exception.
I often hear responses to the gospel go something like, “If God is so good then why do all these bad things happen?” or “If Jesus can save you, then why isn’t everything in your life fixed?”
I often hear in conversations with believers something like, “I am doing everything right and still life isn’t working.” or “If you do these biblical principles, then blessing will be the result.”
There is an underlying assumption (which I often catch myself thinking) in Western Christianity: a godly life leads to an ordered and successful life. Sure there are always unexpected moments, but the long-term expectation is efficiency, results, safety and peace. Yet, Peter paints a very different picture.
The apostle says the righteous person is saved with difficulty. If this is the case, then what will become of the ungodly or sinner. This is the opposite of our cultural conversation. Peter says the follower of Jesus should expect the life of faith in Christ to be difficult, full of unjust treatment by others, misunderstood actions, and fiery ordeals. In fact he wrote,
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ…”
If we continue to think and teach that following Jesus will bring us a better life (defined Western style), the results we desire, or ________ fill in the blank, then we are gathering second and third soils who are going to bow out when reality strikes. The foundation of sand will always wash away when the storms come.
For those who stand firm, it is simply because we share with Christ and he shares with us. He will never leave you or forsake you, even you. Don't quit.
Until there's #NoPlaceLeft...