Q: I got saved while attending a Bible study group in my neighborhood. I thought my big problems would go away but nothing has changed. It makes me wonder if I really got saved since my life is still pretty messed up? — D.S.
A: Not one account in the Bible tells us that living for God will be easy. Look at Joseph. He did the right thing and fled from temptation and ended up in prison. Look at the three Hebrews in the book of Daniel. They refused to worship anyone other than Almighty God and they were thrown in the fiery furnace by a pagan king. David the shepherd boy stood before the great giant Goliath and said, “I come to you in the name of the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:45). When we encounter difficulties, if we rely on the Lord to strengthen us and teach us, He will be with us through it all and victory will be won.
There is nothing easy about the Christian life. It doesn’t mean that Christians cannot have fun times but for Christians, life is more about living joyfully no matter our circumstances. This is where we have the opportunity to show others that our strength comes from the Lord.
Reflect on Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand.” Ask the Lord to change your sadness into joy because He will use everything in your life to make you fit to serve Him faithfully. God can take anything that happens to us — even bad things — and use them to shape us and make us into the person He desires — if we will let Him. Walk with Him and let your light shine.
Q: My professor in Biblical studies said it’s necessary to prove the Bible is true before we can teach it as fact. In essence, he said that there is no proof that Jesus really ever lived. How can this be? — B.F.
A: The Bible predicted Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection, and documents the fulfillment of these prophecies, yet many reject its truth. Yet, biographies of so many others are believed when they were written long after their deaths.
Alexander the Great’s biography was written 400 years after he died, so its author obviously never knew him. But Alexander’s legacy lives on while people doubt the life of Christ as documented by those who walked with Jesus. Many people down through the centuries never had a record of their own births. Yet the existence of Jesus is still called into question despite the intricate genealogy found in Scripture.
Some question whether Shakespeare wrote the plays that bear his name because none of his original manuscripts survived. Some see Shakespeare as a pseudonym because there are no documents dating his birth. His biography is peppered with suppositions yet it’s said that Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language — after the various writers of the Bible.
We’ll never meet Shakespeare in this life because he’s dead. But today every person can meet Jesus Christ in this life because He lives! The marks of His sacrifice on the cross are found in human hearts. Gravestones often bear the words: “Here lie the remains of...”. But from Christ’s tomb came the living words of an angel, declaring: “He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:6). Jesus’ tomb is empty. The resurrection of Jesus is an attested fact of history and a fact to be proclaimed as truth. Jesus lives.
This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.