'Good' and 'Hard' always go together
We have a family motto, “good and hard always go together”. I heard this all the time growing up. Maybe this doesn’t seem like such a revolutionary thought, but this simple concept has had an enormous impact on my life.
The idea that good things can be hard, guided my expectations growing up in such a way that I didn’t avoid hard things but instead saw them as a necessary extension of accomplishing something significant.
Obviously, I am far from perfect in this but at my core, I’ve always understood that the best things in life don’t come without a fight.
I was driving one day, and a commercial came on the radio. I can’t remember what it was advertising, but the slogan was, “one more step towards easy living.” I remember thinking,“is that the purpose of life”?
This can’t be what life is about!
But this is culture today - comfort is God.
When I look at the things in my life that I value: my closest relationships, the things I’ve been able to accomplish, the projects I’ve worked on - none of it has been easy.
Currently, I am sitting in a van in Ukraine on tour with No Longer Music. It's been one of the most challenging tours I have ever been on. We’ve had to send our drummer home with two broken teeth, one of our actors developed a life-threatening infection and is in the hospital as we speak, our stage that we are driving from venue to venue broke down, and these are just the “highlights”!
Despite these difficulties, we have been able to preach the Gospel to thousands of people on this tour. We have seen God’s power radically transform lives, and hundreds pray to receive Jesus. This tour has been beyond “good” and yet a totally new level of “hard” - but there is no place I would rather be!
As Artists and followers of Jesus, we need to reject the spirit of our age that says if it doesn’t come easy it can’t be right. We're not created for leisure; we're created for battle. This is true of life in general, but even more of spiritual things. We have an active enemy who strongly opposes those who want to use their lives for God’s kingdom.
I believe God would call more artists to embrace the battle of using their gifts to advance God’s kingdom. I promise it won’t be easy. You will face opposition. It will require great courage and will involve risk. It will cost you your reputation, your time and energy, and maybe even your safety. But there is no greater privilege than seeing God’s hope in the darkness.
The truth is that our world is a desperate place, and while you may have an easy life, the majority of the world does not. God has prepared you for good works for you to do in advance. The Bible says the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Why is this? I believe it’s because of the cost of following Jesus in a radical way. Our flesh shrinks back from anything hard, and when things become a struggle, most people quit. But what I grew up hearing and what I’ve seen reinforced throughout my life is that good and hard always go together.