Many of us see the cross as a religious symbol. But in truth, the cross is the symbol of sacrificial love and triumph. It stands for triumph because through His persecution and crucifixion Jesus secured our freedom, healing, and prosperity. The Bible says Jesus came to make our life better. He was wounded for our healing. He became poor so that we can be rich and He was crucified for our sins. This is our right and we must claim it.Nonetheless, there is another side of the Calvary cross – persecution and pain.
Unfortunately, many Christians today disappointedly expect a problem -free life because they think Jesus’ cross erased all problems. As a matter of fact, most of our contemporary preaching indicates that pain and persecution are not part of our redemption package. Some preachers (and I was one of them) go to the extreme by saying that persecution and all other forms of painful experiences are always as a consequence of sin or lack of faith. It is true that some persecutions arise and persist because of sin and lack of faith. Nevertheless, it is also true that some persecutions arise and persist because of righteousness and strong faith.
The deadliest venom Satan has injected in the church today is to undermine the importance of pain – especially the pain that is associated with fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. Many of us are addicted to pleasure and ‘pain-killer’ type of messages. All we want to hear is the way to live in prosperity, healing, and perpetual pleasure. No one nowadays preaches the importance of pain and endurance because those teachings aren’t popular anymore.
As Bishop TD Jakes said, this contemporary generation can’t live with delayed gratification. They want everything to be now, fast, quick. Preachers have changed the gospel to make it more relevant to the masses by making people think that God is Santa Claus. That He will give you whatever you want, whenever you want it, however you want it. We preachers have manipulated scripture for the purpose of making it inspiring and exciting, but we have failed to prepare people for the reality of the true walk with God. We have been unable to make them realize that faith does not exempt one from temptation and tragedy.
My prayer is that may God give you the grace to be ready to face trials and tribulations for your greater good.