The idea that good things can also be hard guided my expectations growing up. I learned not to avoid difficult situations and circumstances, but instead to see them as a necessary extension of accomplishing something significant.
Obviously, I am far from perfect in this, but at my core, I’ve always understood that the best things in life don’t come without a fight.
While driving one day, a commercial came on the radio, and although I can’t remember what was being advertised, the slogan was, “One more step towards easy living.” I recall thinking, “Is that really the purpose of life?”
This can’t be what life is about! But it’s emblematic of our culture today: comfort has become our god.
When I look at those things in my life that I truly value - my closest relationships, my accomplishments, the projects I’ve worked on - I recognize that none of them have come easy.
Last summer, I wrote this reflection while sitting in a van in Ukraine on tour with No Longer Music. It had been one of the most challenging tours I’d ever been on. We’d had to send our drummer home with two broken teeth; one of our actors had developed a life-threatening infection and was in the hospital; the stage that we’d been driving from venue to venue had broken down - and those were just the “highlights”!
Despite all of these difficulties, we were able to preach the Gospel to thousands of people. We saw God’s power radically transform lives, and hundreds pray to receive Jesus. The whole experience was beyond “good” and yet it represented a totally new level of “hard,” as well. And honestly, there’s no place I would rather have been!
As followers of Jesus, we need to reject the spirit of our age that says, “If it doesn’t come easy, it can’t be right.” We were not created for leisure but for battle. This is true of life in general, but even more so of spiritual things. We have an active enemy, who strongly opposes those who want to use their lives to advance God’s kingdom.
I believe God would call more Christians to embrace the battle of using their gifts for His purposes. I promise it won’t be easy. You will face opposition. It will require great courage and involve risk. It will cost you your reputation, your time and energy, and maybe even your safety. But there is no greater privilege than seeing God’s hope shine in the darkness!
For the lost,
Provoke & Inspire Podcast
The Provoke & Inspire podcast (featuring Ben Pierce, David Pierce, Luke Greenwood and Chad Johnson) is a voice to the Christian art world. It is a rallying cry, appealing to artists to lay down their dreams and give everything they have for Jesus. A call to pursue the lost and boldly proclaim the name of Jesus through the gift of art.
It’s available for free on iTunes:
Steiger Missions School
Missionary Training to the Global Youth Culture
Steiger International Center
June 16 - August 22, 2017
Every summer, during the Steiger Missions School at our International Center in Germany, we train people from all over the world to embrace the challenge of preaching the love of Jesus to a lost and desperate world.
IS GOD CALLING YOU TO JOIN US?
Apply today to attend SMS17!
Students at the SMS are engaged in some of Steiger’s front line missionary work: participating in music and artistic tours and events; going to some of Europe’s largest art and music festivals; and being part of the local youth scene in European cities.
During the 10 weeks, we observe a complete media and internet fast and Sundays are set aside as a day of silence, where students and staff have the opportunity to seek God in a focused and undistracted way.
During the SMS, students have lectures from experienced frontline missionaries, artists and church planters from all over the world, who understand how to reach the Global Youth Culture. They also have a personal mentor, whom they meet with on a weekly basis.