There is a lot in the Christian faith that is comforting and consoling, things like the promise of forgiveness, love and eternal life, and like the power and presence of God in your daily life.
But we also need to hike up our britches and remember that our faith isn’t just about receiving, but giving. It requires something from us.
Recently I was reading some journal entries of the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. He wrote: “Christianity has been made much too much into a consolation, people have forgotten that it is a demand.”*
Consolation AND demand.
Yes, in Christ we find comfort. He invites us to himself for rest and peace. He brings us forgiveness, love and eternal life, and the power and presence of God!
But he also says this: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:23-25).
A part of the good news is that we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is working in and through us. Plus, life in the footsteps of Jesus is so much more meaningful and powerful than anything we could ever muster on our own!
Have you received God’s comfort and consolation? If so, do you also hear his call on your life?
“Whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
By Matthew Ruttan
–*Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Soren Kierkegaard: A Selection Edited and Translated by Alexander Dru (London: Oxford University Press, 1938), 347. Journal Entry 999.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.