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A reminder from Hebrews: Run the race of endurance set before us

Why is Christianity so hard sometimes? Why might it feel easier to live without religion on this earth than living as a Christian?

These are questions that so many people ask, and this week, I felt God whisper to me why being a Christian is so hard.

You're not wrong for feeling like the Christian walk is hard

Jesus never claimed it would be easy on earth. In fact, as Christians, this will be the hardest moments of our lives. The saying that believers are closest to hell and nonbelievers are closest to heaven on earth is true.

The reason why Christianity can be hard

When you follow Jesus, you are leaving your old self. It's going to feel hard because who you once were, your sinful flesh able to do as it pleased, is cleansed and being pruned away by Jesus.

The fight isn't due to Jesus wanting you to have a hard time, but it is through the death of your sinful nature every day that is causing your walk with Jesus to be hard. Although at times, I'm sad to say I question God for giving me hard times, but God truly loves us and wants to grow us.

Life feels hard as a christian because you are going through spiritual warfare. The devil wants you to follow your flesh and what your sinful nature desires, but Jesus wants you to take up your cross and follow him, being pruned in the spirit by Him and growing in spirit.

Jesus knows that you were meant to be with Him in spirit and in truth, and your flesh is getting in the way of that (Earthly desires, temptations, sin, addiction, habits, etc.).

The devil knows that if he can make you feel like Christianity is too hard and get you to follow your flesh then he is getting your flesh to grow and not your spirit. A lot of times, this makes Christians slowly come to resent the teachings of the Bible, sadly.

This is your reminder from Jesus today that you are doing good running the race and obeying Jesus by denying your flesh. He sees you, He loves you, and He is helping you on this journey of leaving your flesh and coming closer to Him.

Let us not be deceived or weakened by the devil's whispers or grumbling about the hard task of denying ourselves. It's worth it now, and it will be worth it after we die.

As a Christian, coming closer to Jesus means becoming who you are meant to be

The things that your sinful nature wants you to feel, say, or do aren't worth it, and it isn't who you are anymore. We all will make mistakes, and we can never be good enough on our own, but that is why Jesus did everything that He did for us. He offers his grace to us endlessly.

As a child of God, you are clean and beloved child of the Prince of Peace who demonstrated perfection on earth by being gentle and lowly to others.

He could have let his anger blow, disobeyed God instead of following his commands, followed the earthly part of himself at the time, listened to the devil and even fought back against the people who crucified Him on the cross, yet He didn't.

You aren't alone when you bite your tongue in front of the people who test your anger.

You aren't alone when you have a hard time getting up and reading the Bible everyday.

You aren't alone when you say no to that thing and say yes to God.

You aren't alone when you love the people around you that are hard to love.

By doing these things, you are following Jesus and becoming more like Him! You're becoming who you were meant to be, and by obeying His commandments you are His friend (John 15:14).

It isn't our true selves that we're denying if we're in Christ Jesus as a follower of Him- we're denying our old selves that He sacrificed Himself to reconcile and cleanse without punishment.

I hope this motivates you to fight the good fight of faith and remember who you are in Christ Jesus today! Know that Jesus sees every point of our walk- even more than we do.

In heaven, your flesh will be no more. It will be your spirit in Christ Jesus residing in heaven with Him, so remembering this fact motivates me to continue to be more like Jesus and less like the old me.

In heaven with Jesus one day you will see that all of the times you held your tongue, resisted temptation, chose to love instead of hurt, and forgave instead of hated will be remembered and cherished by Jesus.

It will be worth it fighting the hard days in our walk with Christ on earth.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

-Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

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