Is It Worth the Fight?

In our day-in and day-out struggle to live a Christian life, we may
sometimes become discouraged and frustrated–even to the point of being
willing to quit. We may look at others–especially Hollywood
celebrities–who seem to have it so easy: a fine mansion with a fancy
swimming pool, several expensive cars, nice clothes, a high
position–yet, they don’t walk God’s way of life. And so, we might
wonder: Is it really worth it? Why can’t I live like that? Why can’t I
have all these beautiful things? Wouldn’t it be better if I had not
been called in this life–so I could enjoy what I’m now missing?

thoughts are not unusual, nor are they new. But they are not right.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs 23:17-18: “Do not let your heart envy
sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For
surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.”
God tells us in Malachi 3:18 that ultimately, at the time of Christ’s
return, we “shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” It says
that we will “again” discern these things at that time. This means that
we should have already discerned it before that time; that is, NOW!
When we walk in God’s way, we will reap blessings in this life. John
10:10 tells us that Christ came to give us life “in all its fullness”
(Living Bible). We are to enjoy the lifestyle that God offers us.
Rather than envying others for what they have, we are to thank God for
what He has given us–and what He will give us in a very few years from

The Christian life is supposed to be a life filled with joy
and happiness. It is not supposed to be a continuous burden for us,
causing us to constantly moan and groan all day long. We are not to
regret what we gave up, and are giving up, for Christ. Paul expressed
it very succinctly: “But what things were gain to me, these I have
counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for
the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I
have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I
may gain Christ… if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection
from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-8, 11). Paul did not envy the
evildoers. Neither did Moses. He had it all, but he left it all behind,
“choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to
enjoy the passing pleasures of sin… for he looked to the reward”
(Hebrews 11:25-26).

Overall, we should be happy people. Others
should be able to see that we identify with God’s Word, because we want
to and love to do it–because we understand that it is good for us to
live in the way that God tells us. If others observe us and conclude
that we are deeply unhappy people who only grudgingly do what we are
“commanded” to do, they might have a hard time wanting to live God’s
Way of Life.

The Bible predicts that many will fall away. They
will cease to live God’s Way of Life. They will begin to envy the
wealth of the sinners, wanting to be like them. They will cease to do
good, thinking that it does not pay to do so. They will reason in this
way: “While I suffer, the sinners live happily ever after.” But this
concept is a deceptive self-delusion. Sinners DO suffer–even though
their suffering might not always be obvious to casual observers. As
Brian Gale explained in his editorial in Update #229, many take their
own lives, become alcoholics or drug addicts. Their marriages fail.
Their family life is in shambles. The late millionaire Jean Paul Getty
once said: “I would gladly give all my millions for a happy marriage.”
And when it’s all said and done, many millionaires lose all of their
money and become heavy debtors.

Christ tells us time and again
that we are “blessed” or “happy” when we follow His example. And people
should be able to see how happy it makes us to live God’s Way of Life.
For instance, we are happy when we are peacemakers, because we are
accomplishing something which is good and lasting. Anyone can start a
fight or a war, but only very few are willing and able to advocate
peace, and to step in and stop the fight.

Ultimately, it boils
down to how we look at life. Proverbs 15:15 says: “All the days of the
afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual
feast.” Even when we mourn, we can be happy. We can look around us and
cry and weep about the evils that are being done, but this does not
have to affect our life in such a way that WE become depressed. We know
that we have a future, and that knowledge should give us great
happiness. And, we are to share this happiness with others, as they
have a future, too–although they might not know it yet. That is why
God’s Church has to continue to forcefully preach the gospel of
God–the GOOD and HAPPY news of God’s Kingdom which is going to be
restored on this earth. Our zeal for God will motivate us to
wholeheartedly participate in this commission–but the depressed,
frustrated and self-centered person will shrink away from that

We all may have met people who refuse to be
“happy,” unless they find something about which they can be unhappy.
They just love to complain. They are unable to live in peace with
others. They are not an example to follow. Rather, we must show
happiness in our lives–even and especially in times of trials. When
the early apostles were beaten because they were Christ’s disciples,
“they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they
were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41). People
saw how they reacted. The trial did not break them–rather, it made
them stronger. They refused to become unhappy, but rather rejoiced “to
the extent that [they partook] of Christ’s sufferings, that when His
glory is revealed, [they] may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter

Yes, it IS worth the fight! Our trials are “manifest
evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that [we] may be counted
worthy of the kingdom of God, for which [we] also suffer” (2
Thessalonians 1:5). With God on our side, how could we be anything but
happy? So, let us all notice, and take great courage from these
inspired words in Psalm 146:5-10: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob
for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and
earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who
executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The
LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the
blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the
righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the
fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The LORD shall reign forever.”

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