Sunday, December 22, 2013
A Word On Discipleship
Generally it is believed by many that life as a disciple of Chirst would be easier or somehow more care-free than it under other circumstances would. From time to time it has dawned on me what great danger lies in this way of thinking. If it is practiced by one who calls him- or herself a christian (or by any follower of some faith or a deity).
First, challenges, temptations, hardships, pain, sorrow, anxiousness, fear, uncertainty, confusion, adversity, bad luck (if one believes in it), feelings of inadequacy, excessive stress or anything that might/could be considered negative is part of our mortal life. Life here was never supposed to be easy. It is not just a cliché people use to make themselves feel better. These exist for our benefit; for us to learn to know and feel the positive side of things, for us to grow. For every bad thing there exists a good one of equal intensity.
In The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints the Lord Jesus Christ tells us something rather inspiring. As an answer to a fervent prayer filled with worry for his fellow saints Prophet Joseph Smith heard the voice of our Savior:
122:If thou art called to pass through tribulation
Earlier in the same revelation when the Lord starts speaking to Joseph He said:
121:My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Second, as disciples we must be aware of the promises we have made and of the covenants we have taken upon ourselves. Being aware of these promises and covenants we become more aware of our actions and of what we allow ourselves to be influenced by. This because the blessings of true discipleship are based on commitment, obedience and integrity. When we do not succeed, even after several tries, it is easy to start feeling down. It is not easy to be a disciple.
In addition there actually exists forces in this world that inspire all of us be disobedient, unloyal, deviate from the course and rebel against God and Truth. We who desire to keep and receive the blessings promised to the righteous want to avoid, resist, fight against and overcome this force.
We are not talking of ghost stories here. We talk of things we meet, see, encounter every single day where ever we are; perverse and unwholesome thoughts, filthy or untruthful speech, actions that are not in harmony with Truth, Reality and the way God has shown us. It might be something we hear or see, someone might do something that invites us to act against what we know to be right. It is not easy. We fall too. We are not perfect but we want to be our very best.
Third, the point is not to run away from the world we live in. No, this is our world too.
I want to be part of it. I just believe from all of my heart that true and lasting foundational happiness is not found along or at the end of most of the roads the world decides to take.
I know that all men and women, young and old, no matter what or who they are, are entitled to Divine help, support and guidance when they sincerely seek to align their lives to be in harmony with the eternal Truth. There is a God and He cares where we end up. If we choose to follow Him wholeheartedly, we will receive all what we need to get there.
God bless You All,
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.