Friday, January 21, 2011

Comfort is not the goal.

Some verses in the Bible hurt more than others. They hit home hard and cause deep pain. They were not meant to comfort or encourage. You won't find them in a 'Daily Blessing from the Bible' book, or a 'Thought to Encourage you' devotional.
They are verses we know but try not to think too long or hard on what they mean. After all we don't want to be convicted or challenged because that involves pain and may even mean we have to change our lifestyle and that is just simply inconvenient. Somehow we have been subtly sucked into a mindset that is prevalent today - life should be comfortable; strive for comfort; expect comfort. We hear it in the pulpits and read it in our best sellers.

Somehow this is incongruent with much of scripture.
Let's reflect on what Jesus called his disciples to and how one of them (Paul) lived it out.

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

He went on to say to His father on the eve of his crucifixion, probably the most excruciatingly painful and humiliating way to die known to man (the Romans were good at that type of thing) '......not my will but yours be done.'

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace

Not much comfort here but then again comfort was never the goal. Testifying to the gospel of God's grace is.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Andrew. It was last weekend when I was meditating on exactly this: my tendency to prefer ease. As a solution, I am trying to live by a new mantra: "Pursue Pain." Out of context, I imagine this mantra being problematic.

    Also reminds me of a meditation I wrote back in April: