…we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you…2 Corinthians 4:7-12.
Today’s topic is one I’ve struggled with the past few years. I grow tired of trials and crave comfort. Following Jesus isn’t always comfortable. It is not wrong to desire peace. It is an idol when we want to be comfortable above doing God’s will.
I’m okay with sleeping in the Amazon Jungle with little to no amenities. I’ve done this before on several mission trips to Brazil. I’m okay with the basic nuisances of life. I don’t love constant trials-the ones that test your faith and patience. Especially when it’s seasons of fiery trials. After many years of on and off suffering, this soldier longs for vacay (vacations from trials).
I also don’t love continually being called outside my comfort zone. As an introvert, I don’t love God asking me to lead Bible studies, socialize with lots of believers, nor do I love public speaking. Give me God, some books, art, my guitar, music, and a way to write. I will enjoy my time without people and be blissfully happy. It takes God’s love, grace, and power for me to do any kind of ministry that involves constant socializing. I’m just not wired for extroversion. Yet God continually calls me to minister to other believers and socialize with all kinds of people.
Apostle Paul went through many trials and horrible situations, yet tells us to rejoice when we are in those situations because God is working something for good.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t always see the good or feel the good in the middle of trials and storms or being called out of comfort zones. Sometimes my heart cries out, “God make this more bearable or comfortable.”
The idol of comfort says, “Don’t take that risk. Don’t go the extra mile. Don’t persevere in faith. Don’t lay down your life !”
All idols want to place the focus somewhere or on something other than Jesus.
The problem with this idol in particular is that it hinders growth and fosters selfishness.
A seed and a butterfly both go through some pretty challenging experiences to become who they were created to be. We too must go through some uncomfortable things in order to become who God called us to be. Without growth, which is often painful, there’s no beauty.
Though I love when the sun is shining, everything is going well, and it’s like heaven on earth-the times of deepest intimacy with God have occurred in seasons of what I’d consider a taste of Hades. I found great love and comfort in God in those seasons when I had no clue how the miracle was coming. Those seasons taught me things about God no one can take away.
Losing my mum to cancer after seeing many people healed, taught me the great comfort of God.
Serving under a manager who harassed & created chaos for 4 years taught me the grace of God to not retaliate. It built something in me. Human resources did not help, there was no rescue. God simply walked me through it. Day in and day out-relying on His strength. By the way she eventually gave her life to Christ. 🙂
Watching both my parents battle cancer while I was young, taught me to trust God as Father and Mother. So many tearful nights while my friends were enjoying life. Jesus became my best friend.
Facing death quite a few times taught me that my life is in God’s hands. Painful, unsettling, yet comforting to know no one can pluck me out of His hands.
I won’t tell you my entire life story, these are just a few examples. Though the road behind me has been paved with seasons of suffering, they taught me more than a text book ever could about God. When you have your own experiences, it deepens relationship. Reading about a person and encountering them are two different things.
That being said, the devil, sin, living in a sinful world, and sometimes our choices cause suffering and discomfort. God will work all things together for good. It doesn’t always feel good, yet He works things for good.
No matter what you’re facing, know if God doesn’t provide instant change-He will provide His comfort, love, grace, and power to get you through! Knowing Him is worth it all.
Sweet friends, may we want God more than we want to be comfortable. He’s worthy of being first. If Jesus chose comfort over God’s will, where would we be? God’s ways are perfect and though He doesn’t deliver us from everything-He will give us strength to get through the discomfort. He’s able.
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