Do true Christians face hardship?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Many religious persons tend to have the view that once a person is a Christian, he will not face hardship. You ask them: "How are you?" They reply: "Oh, I'm blessed and highly favoured!" Then they tell you that they never have to worry at all because they are safe in Jesus' arms, and so on.
Persons with such views need to re-examine the scriptures carefully. For example, look at the righteous man Job. (Job 1: 1, 8) He was righteous in God's eyes, avoiding all evil, yet he went through some severe trials brought on him by the Devil. Satan believes that anyone will stop serving God if he faces hardship. (Job 1: 9 -11) God allowed Satan to bring hardship on Job in order to prove Satan a liar. (Job 1:12) Satan brought extreme hardship on Job, which included losing his ten children in death and Job himself being struck with a terrible disease. (Job 1:14 - 20; Job 2:7)
Since Job, as a righteous man, experienced such cruel trials, is there anyone today who could rightly claim that they are so righteous that God cannot, or will not, allow them to face hardship? The apostle Paul, too, faced much hardship, as 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 records. James 1:2, 3 tells of the Early Christians experiencing hardship also.
Therefore, when many religious persons claim they are so highly favoured by God that they have nothing at all to worry about, they are displaying a self-righteous attitude that needs changing! They are misleading others.
God does not cause suffering, but he ALLOWS true Christians today to face hardship, as Job and other servants of His suffered - and triumphed over ordeals - to prove Satan a liar. (Job 2:4; Proverbs 27:11) Though all people face trials, true Christians are in a better position than non-Christians to overcome or cope successfully with the help that God supplies. (Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Peter 5:7)