The Obvious Point of Following Christ Most Miss

As I’ve said many times before, Christianity is way too happy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being happy, but how you achieve happiness is vital.

Modern notions of Christian happiness (around since the Higher Life, Victorious Living notions of 19th Century Keswick Theology) say that happiness results from one happy experience to the next. We’re happy because we trip over one happy fortuitous deal after the next. Following Jesus keeps me from all trouble and brings me into success and thrills.

This is complete hooey and will destroy your soul. Eventually, you’ll forget about the following Christ part and will just start going after one thrilling experience to the next.

Life isn’t one happy thing to the next. It’s just not how it works. The New Testament certainly does not portray life this way. “In this life you will have tribulation” are exact words from Christ.

“All creation groans and travails in pain together” says Paul. Not only all creation, but “even we ourselves who have the firstfruits of he Spirit groan within ourselves” (Romans 8:22-23).

Paul’s point is that all lifeforms on earth suffer and there is no magic exception for those with the Spirit.

Instead, the authors of the New Testament tell us that followers of Christ will have another layer of suffering on top of normal creation suffering. It’s a suffering brought about by following Christ.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15–if there is no resurrection we are of all men most miserable. In other words, if there’s no life to come, Christian life is the most miserable life a person can live!

Christians are literally little Christ’s, that’s what many think the original Greek word means. We are followers of Christ.

Jesus Christ is described as a man of sorrows acquainted with grief who had no place to lay His head. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. He was a prophet who received no honor among His people.

Remember, this is the One we follow.

Jesus Christ came in the form of a servant and became obedient even unto death on the cross. He was despised and rejected. He was spit upon, whipped, and mocked. Then He was crucified.

We follow this Man.

Not sure how we can get “following Christ leads to health and wealth” out of that.

The Bible does use the word “happy.” Notice the context of everything the Bible says we are happy about though:

Blessed are the poor in spirit. The word “blessed” means happy, prosperous, and fortunate.

Happy are those who mourn.

Happy are the meek.

Happy are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Harpy are the merciful.

Happy are the pure in heart.

Happy are the peacemakers.

Happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

Happy are you when all men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you.

Notice anything about that list?

We think happiness comes from one thrilling, joyous activity after the next. But God knows better. God knows that one material success after another kills the soul. God knows that suffering is good for us. Suffering is what allows us to feel and have true joy!

Hope is a big word in Christianity. Hope is about the future. The life to come. Hope drives us on. It was for the joy set before Him that got Christ to endure the cross. Hope.

Hope means there’s a better time coming, which means the time right now aint that great. Life aint great, but this aint the only life!

Suffering here prepares us and increases our glory there. That is the basis of true joy even in suffering.

For God, true happiness, true prosperity lies in treasure in heaven that will last for eternity. Don’t sell your soul for temporal happy toys. Lay hold on eternal life and put your treasure in heaven. That will hurt here, but will feel awesome for eternity!

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