Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried. (G. K. Chesterton)
Jesus said difficult things. Things we want to avoid. Things impossible and surely to be avoided, if not tried in the power of the Holy Spirit. He talked about taking up a cross, and not forfeiting our soul, and entering heaven by the hard road. And He told us that when we tell others His message we’ll be thought of as nonsensical.
So, difficult, yes. Disturbing. Complacency-crashing. Confrontational. But through it all — for those who are being saved by God — He is never found wanting. Hear now His words to those who dare listen:
Take up your cross
“If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind me. For the man who wants to save his life will lose it, but the man who loses his life for my sake will save it. For what is the use of a man gaining the whole world if he loses or forfeits his own soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him, when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23)
Enter by the narrow gate
“Go in by the narrow gate. For the wide gate has a broad road which leads to disaster and there are many people going that way. The narrow gate and the hard road lead out into life and only a few are finding it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
You’ll not be understood
“The preaching of the cross is, I know, nonsense to those who are involved in this dying world, but to us who are being saved from that death it is nothing less than the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)
Through it all
Difficult words, yes. And through it all, we’re to reach out to those who disdain the cross and spit at the idea of a narrow gate. We’re to speak to those who claim to have tried Christianity and found it wanting. We’re to plead with those on the road to disaster. And always, we talk of one blessed Person.
We speak of the Lamb of God, Jesus. His way is not easy. Nor does He cushion His way with flowery beds of ease. But His way, but when really tried, is never found wanting.
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
(Isaac Watts, 1724)