If you are driving down the road it usually does not take long before you come across a vehicle with a “Christian” bumper sticker on it. I don’t know about you but a lot of the time I am embarrassed by the message it is presenting.
I ran across this Christian bumper sticker recently and to a lot of Christians they wouldn’t think twice about it but it made me stop in my tracts. It reminded me of a conversation I had with someone recently and as I looked at the face on the left with the smiley face that says, “With Jesus” implying that if we have Jesus we are happy it truly bothered me. Now I understand probably the intended message is that if we are Christians, following Jesus, and have given Jesus our life that we will have peace and joy. However I think there are many times that if we are with Jesus we will not be happy. I think there will be many times that he will challenge us out of our comfort zones, out of our normal day lives and push us to become who he has made us to be. You don’t have to look long in the Old Testament or the New Testament to come across people who loved God but encountered very trying situations and circumstances that wouldn’t make anyone happy.
I think this is where we begin to get confused in the church. People are told “If you really love Jesus you can’t be sad.” “If you love Jesus you can never be depressed.” Or we tell ourselves, “I gotta fake it till I can make it” or “I can’t let others see me hurting or crying what will they think?” So instead many times well intended Christians plaster fake smiles on their faces pretending everything is o.k. and whenever anyone asks them, “How are you doing?” they put the fake smile back on their face and reply, “I’m fine. God is good.” To which the other person replies, “All the Time.” When in all reality they might feel like breaking down and crying because they have lost someone close to them, maybe they got laid off from their job, money is so tight they don’t know how they are going to make ends meet, or they are having problems in their family.
So what am I saying? Am I saying that we should all just be miserable, cry all the time, be depressed and not seek help, give in and just admit to ourselves that our lives are pointless…No not at all because I don’t think that is Biblical either because God does have a purpose for our lives, he loves and cares for us even in our times of trouble. What I am saying is what if we put away the masquerade? What if when we were hurting we could openly share that as the church? What if when we had doubts we could express them? What if when we didn’t know the answer to something we could just say, “I don’t know?” and that would be o.k. So do I love Jesus? Yes I do. Am I always happy? No I am not.
So if you could put away the masquerade for a minute what might you say?