From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I’m a new Christian and have been surprised at the trials I’ve encountered since I surrendered to the Lord. My friends who practice New Age beliefs tell me I’m missing out on a life of happiness. I know what I believe, but what can I tell them to counteract their mysticism? — N.A.
A: Becoming a believer in Christ is a wonderful new beginning, but it isn’t the end of pain or problems. It is the beginning of facing up to them. Being a Christian involves a lifetime of hard work, dedicated study and difficult decisions. We must beware of any belief system that claims “happy-ever-after” endings on Earth. There are also many voices that claim that becoming a Christian erases all problems, that it will lead to earthly wealth and success. This is not true.
The Christian life is not to be lived flippantly. It’s serious business. If we have our eyes upon ourselves, our problems, and our pain, we cannot lift our eyes upward. Just as a child looks up to a parent as they walk together, so are we to look up to Christ and follow Him. The majority of difficulties believers experience can be traced to a lack of Bible study and praying to the Lord for direction, correction, comfort, and assurance that He is with us every step of the way.
Christianity is not an insurance policy against life’s ills and troubles; it is about glorifying Him in the midst of them. He may not take away trials or make detours for us, but He strengthens us through them. This becomes part of our testimony to the unbelieving world — and it has the ability to point others to the Savior. We must learn to let the Word of God feed and strengthen us in living out Christ’s message to the world as we depend upon the Holy Spirit to teach us.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
© 2022 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.