Why just having more faith isn’t enough

Person drowning in water

Jesus is not a sedative. He is not a “magic pill” to be taken in small doses to numb momentary struggles. All of life’s problems will not disappear if someone who is  struggling merely “trusts in Jesus.” So many people go through life thinking that if they just have enough faith all of their troubles will disappear. If it were that simple, if we could just speak the name of Jesus and life’s troubles would disappear, there would have been no need for the cross.

Jesus is not a sedative, but He is a savior. A savior is necessary when someone needs rescuing. Picture a drowning man. He has been treading water and using all his energy just to survive, but hours have passed and he’s exhausted. Now the water is getting rough, a storm is coming, and he has absolutely no hope of keeping his head above water. He can keep trying, but eventually his strength will run out. He can believe and trust and have faith all he wants to, but that isn’t going to stop the storm. What he needs is to be rescued. His situation is so incredibly bad and hopeless that there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. He needs someone to save him.

That’s us. We can believe all we want, we can trust all we want. We can keep striving and treading water all we want, but at the end of the day, our situation is so bad that we need to be rescued. We are so incredibly helpless that God had to leave His throne. The almighty creator of all things had to lower himself and become the son of a carpenter. He had to live a beggar’s life and die a criminal’s death to rescue us from a problem so enormous that we had no means of fixing it ourselves.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say following Jesus is easy, or that there are any simple solutions for life’s problems. The truth is, if the world’s problems are so big they can only be solved by God himself shedding blood, we can expect that nothing will be easy.

In fact, Jesus says in this world we will have trouble. He will give us peace, hear our prayers and give us strength, but life is not easy. There is no magic Bible verse you can turn to that will fix all of your problems. If you need a sedative take a sedative, but please, don’t cheapen the message of Christ by trying to make him some sort of magic pill. If you do that, you miss the point of the cross and you lose the gravity of your own helplessness.

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