When I was about ten years old, I was in the play Annie. That summer, I learned all about the “Hard-Knock Life.” I learned that usually, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.” I learned that the “Easy Street” was not all that common for the good folks in life, but rather for hustlers and sinners alike. Till this day, Annie is still a beloved childhood favorite of mine.
Life is never easy. In fact, we are guaranteed by Christ Himself that it won’t be, particularly if we follow Him.
I have seen and learned from experience that Satan often will tempt us with the “easy street.” He wants to draw us away from God, so when life with Christ gets tough, Satan whispers, come and follow me, I’ll give you the Kingdom NOW. (Matthew 4:8)
Then, when we get down on his level, he strikes our toes on the rocks. While we are down for the count, he kicks us again. When we are done letting Satan beat up on us, we open our scaly black eyes, beaten and battered with bruised ribs, and we realize God’s hand is there, ready to pick us up and dust us off. He is ready to heal our wounds by His own. (Isaiah 53:5)
As we accept the hand of Christ, when we trust in the truth of being His and we begin to walk in His ways, not in our own, not in those of the world, He makes us promise. And it sounds like a deal-breaker for some, but for those truly trusting in Him, it is a beautiful promise that signifies His faithfulness, His presence and His ability to sympathize.
“Dear friends, don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)
But, this scripture has what I consider a backup, confirmation clause elsewhere…”For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
The Word promises us that Jesus can sympathize with us. He faced every temptation that we could ever face and He flawlessly passed the test with flying colors! He walked through the fiery trials and walked out without a single burn. Our sinful transgressions and our temptations are not unique to us.
Life is guaranteed to be difficult. We will be persecuted. But, just like in Annie, the SON will come out tomorrow. Don’t long for the easy street, but trust in the Living God to suffer alongside of you during this hard-knock life. I promise, it will be worth it!