I have heard it said and asked, “Indeed, life is suffering. Contradiction, misfortune, disappointment, and heartbreak surrounded us. Why must we enter the Kingdom of God through many tribulations? Why does God allow suffering?”
Living life by formula is an easy trap to fall into. When life doesn’t turn out like we expect, eventually disappointment and frustration can well up into resentment and disillusionment. What we really create with all our formulas for living is a formula for disaster!
Discouragement rears its ugly head for many reasons. It is perhaps heaviest when we realize we’ve failed to properly represent Jesus Christ. Or worse, we may have even made Him look bad! As maturing Christians, we’re on a spiritual journey packed full of lessons in humility.
At times all our finger-pointing and bickering ends up doing us all in and nothing is accomplished. If we find ourselves constantly amidst controversy and strife, we need to take a good hard look at ourselves. What are we really fighting over? How is God being glorified?
As believers, we know that life is made up of a series of struggles and challenges, all of which help us develop character, patience, and obedience. So, if we know struggles are essential to spiritual maturity, why do we do everything we can to avoid pain? And why do we try to rob others of the opportunity to grow by “rescuing” them?
I can’t remember a time when so many friends were under such physical, mental, and/or spiritual attack. Maybe it’s a sign of my age. Maybe it’s the result of the chaos in the sin-filled world we live in. I don’t know. I do know that there are many people suffering and being challenged.
A person had a large aquarium that served as a home for an adult pike. The researcher noticed that every time he put minnows in the tank the pike would quickly gobble them up. As part of an experiment, the investigator decided to slip a plate of glass into the tank separating the pike from the area where he would introduce the baitfish. He then placed some minnows on the side away from the pike.