We are all going down the path of life in the darkness, knowing there are beasts, stumps, snakes, insects, and other dangers.
True religion helps you on the journey. Being religious doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to you. It means you can avoid some calamities and handle the others better. In Christianity, the Bible is your roadmap, Christ is your flashlight, and the Holy Ghost is your cellphone. Members of your church are your companions. They all make the journey easier and help you get to your destination.
Many turn their nose up at religion, pointing out that those who are religious have hardships in their lives just as the atheists do. Religion never claims to prevent hardships. Why we live on this earth, and then die, is something we don’t understand and religions may define differently. But this I know:
There is a Heavenly Creator of this universe. He knows me. He loves me. He has a divine purpose for me. It is up to me to try to make this short life worthwhile in his eyes. And it isn’t by accumulating money, or power, or having the latest and greatest of anything. It is by loving others. The hardships I endure are for my learning and growth.
Now the purpose of church: It isn’t to show off how righteous we are, a common misconception. It is to work together to lift each other. You can’t say “I know it all, so I don’t need to go back.” I lift you. You lift me. That’s the purpose. And when church ceases to be that way, well, maybe you need a better church!