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Suffering saints and wrong expectations

The biblical list of suffering saints goes on and on, yet we so often assume that if we come to God, we can have it all: money, lavish possessions, the esteem of others, personal fulfillment, and great happiness. We lose sight of the fact that, while eternal life begins when we meet Christ, we do a fair amount of suffering right here in this life.

Jesus said that if we love Him we will obey his commandments (John 14:15), and the Book of Hebrews makes it plain that Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Why should we expect less?

We aren’t guaranteed happiness. Heaven is the only real guarantee, that and a peculiar peace we can enjoy in this present time. The true peace of God transcends all the muck we endure, but that peace too often eludes us because we are overwhelmed with the details of this life.

Too often, we expect things God never promised us, and we are disappointed when we don’t receive them. Some become bitter, and some turn away from God completely.

Real life is lived in the course of everydayness. We hit the button on the alarm, go to the bathroom, shower, feed ourselves, work, dash here and there, sleep, and repeat. Days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years, and if we’re not careful, we can wonder where all the time has gone. There are golden days we treasure, trauma and pain we try to forget, and a whole lot that simply vanishes beneath a haze of routine.

At this point, I have a type of contentment that I can’t quite explain and a hope that is quite solid. Such has not always been the case. In the Book of Hebrews, this hope is referred to as “an anchor of the soul” (6:19), and far too many days I have spent with my anchor down while I was being beaten down by wave after wave of what I considered unrelenting BS, if you catch my drift. I was hanging on, not getting swamped by life’s grating routines and disappointments, but I wasn’t making progress either

I have had a problem where everyday life doesn’t measure up to what I expect of the abundant life that Jesus promised to believers. Let’s just say, I’ve had some wrong expectations.

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