Charles Swindoll wrote: "When you suffer and lose, that does not mean you are being disobedient to God. In fact, it might mean you're right in the center of His will. The path of obedience is often marked by times of suffering and loss."
I don't know why, but I didn't really consider that connection before. Sure, I knew that being a Christian brought on persecution. But suffering and loss? Well it wasn't something I associated with obedience before. Character growth, sure. Obedience? Not really.
But it really only makes sense. Looking at the the apostles lives doesn't make Christianity look that appealing. Not only did they face tremendous persecution, but their life circumstances weren't that great. And I'm realizing more and more, neither will ours be.
It seems like everytime life seems to settle, another storm brews in. But in reading the Bible, can we really expect anything else?
Should we expect fat paychecks? Large homes? Perfect families? Stress-free jobs? Nothing but loving people? The ideal church? I don't know why we get so surprised when life turns out to be the opposite. I don't know why I get so surprised.
I guess somewhere along the way Christianity has gotten confused with comfort. I'm beginning to see that they couldn't be more opposite. As Shane Claiborne wrote "God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable."
I think we've gotten a little too comfortable. I know I have.