Christians aren't exempt from the problems of life

Chicago Tribune 3 weeks ago

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I was told that if I became a Christian my problems would go away; that God is for us. Why is it that since I have become a Christian I have been insulted, and threatened by bad things? -- W.C.

A: Christians aren't exempt from the problems of life; we too experience illness, temptation, disappointment, grief, and a hundred other problems. Most of the disciples were killed for their witness of Christ, and the Apostle Paul likely suffered from some kind of physical ailment.

Some years ago a small lake fed by a mountain stream tumbled down the valley from the surrounding mountains. The lake was formed many years before by constructing a sturdy concrete dam across the stream. After several days of exceptionally heavy rain the placid stream became a raging torrent. As people stood on its swollen banks and heard large stones rumble beneath the stream's surface, fears grew that the dam might collapse. Water began seeping through weak spots in the embankment. The police ordered those living below the dam to evacuate, fearing a sudden collapse. In the end it all turned out well, but not without fear of the unknown battering people's faith.

That incident illustrates ways problems and temptations assail us. We are often battered by life's problems, even to the point of moral and spiritual collapse. We live in a hostile world that constantly seeks to pull us away from God, and sometimes its pressures are enormous -- but God is there, and our trust in God to see us through serves as a testimony to others watching. We must not let Satan have victory in life's ups and down.

If we truly belong to Christ, He gives us promises even in the midst of pain. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)


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