What if I told you that through death you would find life?
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
In Galatians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live.”
Jesus tells his followers to take up their crosses and follow him (Luke 9:23), yet he also says that his purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10).
Either this is all foolishness, or something supernatural is at work in these promises. This is the Christian story, and it has been told through the lives of thousands of believers throughout many generations. We are fools to the rest of the world, yet we are confident beyond measure.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
“We die to our former ways of life and are transformed into newness of life.” (Ephesians 4:22-23)
The Christian life is the most daring, and yet the safest, of all adventures. You never know where God might lead you or what he may require of you. But you always know that he is causing everything to work together for your ultimate and eternal good (Romans 8:28).
I challenge you to look into the paradoxical promises presented in the Bible. Read about the men and women of faith who lived bold and dangerous lives because they knew their souls rested in safety. You might start with the Book of Acts, which I have just started reading again as I travel through Greece and Turkey this summer. It is filled with inspiring accounts of early Christians facing untold challenges and persecution as they share the truth with a hostile world. Other New Testament books tell how they boldly shared in peace and with joy — even accounts of them singing and praising God while chained in jail cells after having endured brutal beatings.
Ask God to show you how you can step further into a life of faith and further into the security it offers. There is no greater way to live.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.