These scriptures help me understand that following Jesus is not about finding happiness and satisfaction. If happiness and satisfaction is my motivation for following Christ, than I will be disappointed as my life will unavoidably be filled with hardship and trouble. Hardship and trouble are a normal part of life, but in my experience, it usually works like this: the more focused I’m on Jesus and the more faithful I am in following Him, then the more troubles and difficulties I have in my life. This makes following Jesus seem not worth it in a world in which it seems increasingly normal for people to focus on doing whatever makes them feel happy and feel satisfied. I hear happiness and satisfaction increasingly used as a measure of success. I tend to think the same way: When something isn’t making me feel happy or satisfied, then I move on to something else that brings me those desired feelings, preferably immediately.
Following Jesus is about knowing and accepting the Truth. The Truth is Jesus Christ and the story of His rescue mission. Difficulty, challenge, and pain are the unavoidable circumstances of the fallen world that we live in. Following Jesus Christ is also difficult, challenging, and painful. It could be difficult, challenging, and painful physically and emotionally if you are being persecuted by people and evil forces. It could be difficult, challenging, and painful emotionally as people reject you, judge you, and hate you because of Jesus Christ. It is also painful to deny and manage our natural desires that God tells us to not let dominate us such as lust, greed, and hate. It is challenging and painful to give up your dependency on money and power to feel safe.
But the Truth is that we are all doomed without faith in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He gave us at the cost of His life. He gave us forgiveness by willingly enduring incredible spiritual, physical, and emotional pain as He served God by lovingly serving all people who betray Him. The Truth is that we were purposed to follow His life of giving ourselves to serve and glorify Him by following His example of lovingly serving those people who betray us and don’t deserve our love. The Truth is also that the Holy Spirit is within the followers of Jesus and comforting them by reminding them of the Truth. By seeking, knowing, and following the Truth with faith, then the happiness and satisfaction of trusting in God accompanies the difficult, challenging, and painful experiences that are promised to those who follow Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 44:15-23 (CEV)
15A large number of Jews from both northern and southern Egypt listened to me as I told them what the LORD had said. Most of the men in the crowd knew that their wives often burned incense to other gods. So they and their wives shouted:
16Jeremiah, what do we care if you speak in the LORD’s name? We refuse to listen! 17We have promised to worship the goddess Astarte, the Queen of Heaven, and that is exactly what we are going to do. We will burn incense and offer sacrifices of wine to her, just as we, our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders did when we lived in Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah. We had plenty of food back then. We were well off, and nothing bad ever happened to us. 18But since the time we stopped burning incense and offering wine sacrifices to her, we have been dying from war and hunger. 19Then the women said, “When we lived in Judah, we worshiped the Queen of Heaven and offered sacrifices of wine and special loaves of bread shaped like her. Our husbands knew what we were doing, and they approved of it.”
20Then I told the crowd:
21Don’t you think the LORD knew that you and your ancestors, your leaders and kings, and the rest of the people were burning incense to other gods in Jerusalem and everywhere else in Judah? 22And when he could no longer put up with your disgusting sins, he placed a curse on your land and turned it into a desert, as it is today. 23This disaster happened because you worshiped other gods and rebelled against the LORD by refusing to obey him or follow his laws and teachings.
- 그리하여 자기 아내들이 다른 신들에게 분향하는 줄을 아는 모든 남자와 곁에 섰던 모든 여인 곧 애굽 땅 바드로스에 사는 모든 백성의 큰 무리가 예레미야에게 대답하여 이르되
- 네가 여호와의 이름으로 우리에게 하는 말을 우리가 듣지 아니하고
- 우리 입에서 낸 모든 말을 반드시 실행하여 우리가 본래 하던 것 곧 우리와 우리 선조와 우리 왕들과 우리 고관들이 유다 성읍들과 예루살렘 거리에서 하던 대로 하늘의 여왕에게 분향하고 그 앞에 전제를 드리리라 그 때에는 우리가 먹을 것이 풍부하며 복을 받고 재난을 당하지 아니하였더니
- 우리가 하늘의 여왕에게 분향하고 그 앞에 전제 드리던 것을 폐한 후부터는 모든 것이 궁핍하고 칼과 기근에 멸망을 당하였느니라 하며
- 여인들은 이르되 우리가 하늘의 여왕에게 분향하고 그 앞에 전제를 드릴 때에 어찌 우리 남편의 허락이 없이 그의 형상과 같은 과자를 만들어 놓고 전제를 드렸느냐 하는지라
- 예레미야가 남녀 모든 무리 곧 이 말로 대답하는 모든 백성에게 일러 이르되
- 너희가 너희 선조와 너희 왕들과 고관들과 유다 땅 백성이 유다 성읍들과 예루살렘 거리에서 분향한 일을 여호와께서 기억하셨고 그의 마음에 떠오른 것이 아닌가
- 여호와께서 너희 악행과 가증한 행위를 더 참을 수 없으셨으므로 너희 땅이 오늘과 같이 황폐하며 놀램과 저줏거리가 되어 주민이 없게 되었나니
- 너희가 분향하여 여호와께 범죄하였으며 여호와의 목소리를 순종하지 아니하고 여호와의 율법과 법규와 여러 증거대로 행하지 아니하였으므로 이 재난이 오늘과 같이 너희에게 일어났느니라
Jeremiah 44:15-23 (The Message)
15-18The men who knew that their wives had been burning sacrifices to the no-gods, joined by a large crowd of women, along with virtually everyone living in Pathros of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: “We’re having nothing to do with what you tell us is God’s Message. We’re going to go right on offering sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, keeping up the traditions set by our ancestors, our kings and government leaders in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem in the good old days. We had a good life then—lots of food, rising standard of living, and no bad luck. But the moment we quit sacrificing to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out offerings to her, everything fell apart. We’ve had nothing but massacres and starvation ever since.”
19And then the women chimed in: “Yes! Absolutely! We’re going to keep at it, offering sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out offerings to her. Aren’t our husbands behind us? They like it that we make goddess cookies and pour out our offerings to her.”
20-23Then Jeremiah spoke up, confronting the men and the women, all the people who had answered so insolently. He said, “The sacrifices that you and your parents, your kings, your government officials, and the common people of the land offered up in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem—don’t you think God noticed? He noticed, all right. And he got fed up. Finally, he couldn’t take your evil behavior and your disgusting acts any longer. Your land became a wasteland, a death valley, a horror story, a ghost town. And it continues to be just that. This doom has come upon you because you kept offering all those sacrifices, and you sinned against God! You refused to listen to him, wouldn’t live the way he directed, ignored the covenant conditions.”
Mark 13:5-13 (CEV)
Watch out and don’t let anyone fool you! 6Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people.
7When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. 8Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.
9Be on your guard! You will be taken to courts and beaten with whips in their meeting places. And because of me, you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith. 10But before the end comes, the good news must be preached to all nations.
11When you are arrested, don’t worry about what you will say. You will be given the right words when the time comes. But you will not really be the ones speaking. Your words will come from the Holy Spirit.
12Brothers and sisters will betray each other and have each other put to death. Parents will betray their own children, and children will turn against their parents and have them killed. 13Everyone will hate you because of me. But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved.
5. 예수께서 이르시되 너희가 사람의 미혹을 받지 않도록 주의하라
- 많은 사람이 내 이름으로 와서 이르되 내가 그라 하여 많은 사람을 미혹하리라
- 난리와 난리의 소문을 들을 때에 두려워하지 말라 이런 일이 있어야 하되 아직 끝은 아니니라
- 민족이 민족을, 나라가 나라를 대적하여 일어나겠고 곳곳에 지진이 있으며 기근이 있으리니 이는 재난의 시작이니라
- 너희는 스스로 조심하라 사람들이 너희를 공회에 넘겨 주겠고 너희를 회당에서 매질하겠으며 나로 말미암아 너희가 권력자들과 임금들 앞에 서리니 이는 그들에게 증거가 되려 함이라
- 또 복음이 먼저 만국에 전파되어야 할 것이니라
- 사람들이 너희를 끌어다가 넘겨 줄 때에 무슨 말을 할까 미리 염려하지 말고 무엇이든지 그 때에 너희에게 주시는 그 말을 하라 말하는 이는 너희가 아니요 성령이시니라
- 형제가 형제를, 아버지가 자식을 죽는 데에 내주며 자식들이 부모를 대적하여 죽게 하리라
13.또 너희가 내 이름으로 말미암아 모든 사람에게 미움을 받을 것이나 끝까지 견디는 자는 구원을 받으리라
Mark 13:5-13 (The Message)
5-8Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.
9-10“And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth. The Message has to be preached all across the world.
11“When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart—the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.
12-13“It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me.
”Stay with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.