Paul writes one of the saddest verses in Scripture: 'Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.' Following Jesus can be a bit of a rollercoaster - enormous peaks, terrifying lows, pulsating twists and turns, and thrilling loop-the-loops. Sometimes we're speeding along, enjoying the ride; other times we're hanging on with bare white knuckles. Whatever we're feeling, though, we'd be super-crazy to unbuckle during the ride. Yet some Christians do. Like Demas.
Perhaps he was tired of feeling alienated? Perhaps his doubts overcame him and he felt he couldn't talk it over with others? Maybe a fellow believer hurt him? Maybe some stuff was too hard to believe? Jesus seems to have that effect on some. 'Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"... From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more' (John 6:60-66 NKJ). Even today, bits of Jesus' teaching are easier to swallow than others. Heaven is a great idea. Hell... hmm, not so cool. We love to hear that Jesus has a purpose for us. We're really thankful Jesus sacrificed Himself and died for us. But what about making a sacrifice ourselves? What about the things that are even harder than love? And let's face it, the 'loving people' thing isn't always easy, anyway!
So what now? The tough times are a non-negotiable part of being a friend of Jesus. What about putting together a plan of action for when the road does get a bit rough - whatever happens, don't let go of Him.