But I act like that’s what he said.
I also don’t think he said “Things are going to go really, really smoothly because I’ve overcome the world.” (see John 16:33)
But again, that seems to be my expectation.
I don’t know why I act like my life is supposed to be easy. It’s not. Even the best of us has struggled trying to figure out what God’s will is.
When Peter had the vision of the sheet descending from Heaven, he was like ‘what the heck are you talking about God? I’m not eating any of that stuff!’ (Acts 10)
When Paul wanted to go into Asia, the Holy Spirit blocked him (Acts 16:6) Not to mention when he asked three times for God to remove the thorn in his flesh and God said ‘stop asking’ (2 Corinthians 12:6-8)
Jesus himself didn’t want to have to endure the agony of the cross. (Matthew 26:39)
What marks the difference in their lives is simple: obedience. They obeyed God because God is worthy of our obedience. Not because it’s fun. Not necessarily because they understood it, but because our job is to do the will of God.
We must not make up false promises. Or accept them. Any person who essentially turns faith in God into a way to make money, live in luxury and/or avoid any sense of discomfort in our lives must be rejected in the same way Jesus rejected Peters effort to avoid a life of sacrifice: “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matthew 16:23)
Instead of deciding what will make me happy and then demanding or expecting God to give me that, I will learn to take joy from obeying him.
This, I believe, is the dying to myself I am called to by the scriptures. So that I may be made alive in Christ.
In the life he gives, not the life I try to ‘get out of him’.