CHALLENGES IN LIVING
TOGETHER AS COMMUNITY
and Easy for the Many, Narrow and Hard
for a Few
by the narrow gate. For the gate is
wide and the way is easy that leads to
destruction, and those who enter by it
are many. For the gate is narrow and
the way is hard that leads to life,
and those who find it are few.”
Most of us like to live a
life that is easy, convenient and pleasurable.
We try to avoid pain, hardships and
troubles. Are we not supposed to enjoy life? The
answer for this is yes – provided we are only
looking at this life. But God has something
much, much better in mind. He wants to share
eternity with us.
would save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for my sake will find
it. For what will it profit a man if he
gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Or what shall a man give in return for his
soul? [Matthew 16:25-26].
God is asking us to ‘lose
our life’ for Him, and that is why following God
is hard. The gate that leads to Him is narrow.
Are you one of the ‘few’ ones who are willing to
walk through the narrow gate, where the way is
hard? Do you know what will it cost? Are you
willing to pay the price?
So how do we enter
through the narrow gate?
- Life of discipleship
is a cycle; there are good times, but there
are also hard times. When God blesses us
with good times, let us enjoy them. But let
us not be surprised when difficulties come
our way. Let us anticipate that they will
come, and we need to face them with the
resolve to overcome and ‘win.’
- God wants us to grow
in character as we face challenges in life,
and not just overcome them. These are some
of the character traits we grow in as we
face trials: endurance, forbearance,
patience, faithfulness, perseverance,
forgiveness, flexibility, and self-control.
God also wants us to draw close to Him; the
less independent we are, the more
God-dependent we become. And maybe, that is
the whole point of the challenge or trial we
face – that we draw near to God and grow to
be like Him.
- We need to have the
mind of Christ as we face our difficulties.
We need to ask: if Jesus were in my
situation, what would He do? Also, what
would He not do? What options would
He consider? If we are not sure, it would be
good to ask someone whom we trust what their
thinking is about the situation.
- Hardships are meant to
be temporary; we need to stand tall and
never give up. We need to endure all types
of hardships and persecutions. Even as we
face hardships and trials, we are to rejoice
and know that we will be victorious in the
end. After all, all types of hardships are
only temporary; one day, we will win the
crown of life. Quitters never win, and
winners never quit – especially in eternal
- The narrow gate in
this life [our challenges and trials] are
meant to tell us one thing: we were never
meant to be for this world only. We are
citizens of heaven [Philippians 3:20], and
we ought to long for our real home in
heaven, where there will be no more “grief,
crying, or pain…" [Revelations 21:4].
- For I consider that the sufferings of
this present time are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed to us.
- Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when
you are involved in various trials, because
you know that the testing of your faith
produces endurance. But you must let
endurance have its full effect, so that you
may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
- For this light momentary affliction is
preparing for us an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison, as we look not to the
things that are seen but to the things that
are unseen. For the things that are seen are
transient, but the things that are unseen
are eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:17-18]
- Other references: 1 Peter 1:3-8; James 1:12.
For personal reflection or
- Which gate do you think you are passing
through in this life – the wide and easy one,
or the narrow and hard one? Can you validate
and prove it?
Tom Caballes is the National
Senior Administrator and a National
Coordinator of the Lamb
God, a community of the Sword of
the Spirit with 7 branches located
throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads
Zealand, an outreach program for
high school, university, and
post-university aged people.
Tom and his wife Mhel and
their two daughters live in
Wellington, New Zealand.