Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do You Feel Tension in the Christian Life?

For anyone who has struggled with the tension of salvation started but not complete in this life.
Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos
The Christian life can feel schizophrenic. It isn’t hard to recognize that there are numerous tensions filling the Christian life. Some find this exhilarating. However, many of us find that these tensions are a cause of discouragement, despair, hopelessness, and depression. We look at our lives and they are not what we want them to be. We see that:
These tensions are real. However, this isn’t because Christianity is schizophrenic. These are good and necessary tensions; and they shouldn’t lead to discouragement, despair, hopelessness, or depression. If you are experiencing these tensions of the Christian life, there is a reason: you are a pilgrim on the way. In fact, you are only a sojourner in this land with eyes that have been set upon the “celestial city.” As Christians, we are caught in the in-between.  As has become a common refrain (and Jesus alludes to in His high priestly prayer), “We are in this world, but not of this world.” We have one foot on earth and one firmly anchored in heaven.
When we begin to fully understand that we are but pilgrims in this world, these tensions become avenues of sweetness rather than despair. Ultimately, they point us to what we shall be some day.
As 1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see Him as He is.” On that day all the tensions in our lives will finally cease. The sinner will fully be transformed into a saint, our peace will be complete, our love will be perfected, sin will no longer be at hand, and our faith shall be sight. And how do we know that this day will be a reality? Surely, some of the greatest signs are the tensions we experience in the present. We are enjoying an appetizer of the benefits of eternity now. The eschaton has broken in.
The positive side of these tensions are a bright neon flashing promise that this future day shall come. Rather than lead us to despair, these tensions should lead us to hope. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

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