There is always this moment when we come to realize that the journey of faith seems a lot harder than when we first started. Maybe this is why Jesus says to us that the road is narrow and less traveled, or when he teaches something and then follows it up with “this is a hard teaching that few will get.” There is something about that we don’t seem to get right away. In fact, for me, it wasn’t until later in my faith journey that I began to struggle with the road less traveled stuff.
Although a great many things changed about my life when I came to faith, it didn’t seem tough. There was something about the whole newness of my new life in Christ that made things seemingly easier. Yet as I got further away from my moment of conversion the ability to make those same transforming decisions got harder and harder. All those teaching I read of Jesus that I thought would be no problem, actually got really hard, in some cases so hard I didn’t want to bother with them.
I found myself acting on my own power, I found myself believing that post conversion it was up to me. There couldn’t be anything further from the truth. What I have discovered more than ever is that I have a greater need for the Gospel than I did at conversion, because I can’t do anything outside of its power. Like a child to its mother I am completely dependent on Christ, his grace, mercy and forgiveness.
It has become clear to me that when the Gospel is out of sight, so is peace. When I loose focus of the Kingdom, I equally loose motivation for everyday things. As I consider these things I find that it is the teaching of Jesus that I must return to. Those things that Jesus said were going to be hard, he was right they are hard really hard, but not impossible.
In Jesus’ first set of major teachings he opens the teaching with our posture. He says to those who have been following him, “blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek…” and so on. What we see is Jesus telling his followers that if you don’t realize that you can’t do this on your own, then you will be miserable. There will be not comfort, no satisfaction, no mercy, no Kingdom. What we find in our own power is that our abilities are feeble and insufficient. But when we come into Christ his power is more than sufficient, and we can accomplish anything.
What we see is that when we take on the posture of the Kingdom our desires and values change. We are driven by the expansion of the Kingdom that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That the Gospel fuels us to accomplish this expansion. That the power of the Gospel is our ability to live out the hard teachings. It is our ability to live in peace and see the peace of Christ expand to those around us.
So what I have found and I believe is true that while faith can be harder it doesn’t have to be. When we continue to see our need for the Gospel, even after conversion, and posture ourselves as Christ taught us then we find that faith doesn’t really have to be that hard. Christ is sufficient, for all things. We can be Christ-like we can live lives that are beyond anything we can imagine, and accomplish things we never thought possible.


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