Summary: Examining whether the Christian life is really worth living... (yes it is!)
Is It Worth It?
Have you ever looked at the Christian life and asked the question “Is It Worth It”
o Is it worth the struggles?
o Is it worth the sacrifice?
o Is it worth the ridicule and persecution?
No doubt, each child of God here today has noticed that often the wicked prosper.We see people who are not just lost, but are absolutely wicked… evil individuals who seem to have it made. There seems to be no problems in their life and everything they touch turns to gold.
The writer of the Hymn “Farther Along” has made that observation:
“Then do we wonder”
“Why others prosper”
“Living so wicked”
“Year after year”
Sometimes we look at this and feel that it isn’t fair and we get discouraged.
Hudson Taylor, was missionary to China in the 19th century...He left his safe, secure home in Yorkshire; He walked away from a career as a successful doctor; He spent all of his money to reach the lost; His daughter died in China; His wife died in China; His own health failed on the mission field. Yet through it all he boldly proclaimed “I never made a sacrifice" His son said “my father realized that the compensations were so real and lasting that he came to see that giving up is inevitably receiving, when one is dealing heart to heart with God... The sacrifice was great, but the reward far greater." - I believe if you could ask Hudson Taylor “is the Christian life is worth it” I believe he would say “IT IS WORTH IT”
We all know the story of H.G Spafford:In 1870 his 4 year old son died of scarlet fever. He lost most of his finances in the “great Chicago fire” of 1870. In 1873 a ship carrying his immediate family sank killing his 4 daughters. When sailing near the area where his children had died... Horatio Spafford penned these words:
"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way"
"When sorrows like sea billows roll"
"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say"
"It is well, it is well, with my soul"
If you could ask H.G Spafford “is the Christian life worth it?” I believe he would say “IT IS WORTH IT”
But there may be some of you today who are at a crossroad. You are struggling, you are hurting, you may even be bitter and you just want to know… “IS IT WORTH IT?” I want to look at the life of a man named Asaph who pondered that very question. Let’s look to the text and ask the question “Is It Worth It”
I. SOMETIMES WE HAVE QUESTIONS v1-5
Asaph was a Levite. Levites were set apart for the offices of the sanctuary service. Asaph’s particular duty was that of choir leader (1 Chronicles 6:39). In the first few verses Asaph becomes very transparent and speaks of a time where he struggled in his walk with the Lord. He says “God is good to Israel but there was a time when I was slipping” He reveals in verse 3 that he “envied the prosperity of the wicked” His heart was full of envy and he was ready to quit on God - “I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.” - He felt that God was better to the wicked than to him – v3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. - In his eyes the wicked were prospering beyond measure and he envied them. To him it seemed that their lives were painless! They were strong, healthy and wealthy. He felt that the wicked had no problems It seemed that they got everything that they ever wanted - v7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. ......I believe that Asaph asked the question …”Is It Worth It?”
Notice what he says in verse 8 (the evil people) “are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
Asaph felt that the wicked enjoyed a life of ease and without any effort their riches were multiplied! Am I the only one who can relate to Asaph? Have you ever been in his position? There are some “questions that we ponder”
Do you ever wonder “Where is the benefit in serving God?”