Isaiah 45:9 Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” Does your work say, “The potter has no hands?”
We expect life to be good, for things to come easily and for suffering to be something someone else experiences. Growing up in the United States gave us a feeling of entitlement. As Christians, we should know better. After all, there are many biblical examples of people suffering for their faith in God, particularly in Jesus. More and more we are seeing freedom of religion becoming a memory. Christians are being sued for discrimination. They are being denied their rights all because they will not cower to the morals of the world.
Nowhere in the Bible are believers promised a life of ease or wealth (no matter what the Kenneth Copelands and Joel Osteens will tell you). We aren’t promised blue skies without rain or rose gardens without thorns. Life comes with pain and suffering. The difference is in our response. We can develop a victim mentality and hand over power to our feelings. We can fall into a state of despair and make an idol of our feelings. We can become self-absorbed and consumed with our own needs and desires. Or, we can develop an attitude of gratitude and experience the joy of worshiping and praising God in spite of our circumstances. It is okay to have great expectations if we can also keep things in God’s perspective.
“Have great expectations for your life! You would dishonor God if you didn’t. But let those expectations bow low under the mighty hand of God. Embrace ministry to others that comes right out of the disillusionment that is birthed when Life crushes your dreams. Show them God and help them to understand the incredible joy of letting God use the struggles of their own lives to demonstrate the power and love.”¹
[Read Numbers 13-24]
Numbers 20:12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
Help me remember that just because life isn’t a bed of roses, You are always with me. When times are tough and I feel like giving up, remind me that You have something bigger planned for my life. When my dreams are crushed, show me how to experience joy anyway. Amen.