The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

Why Doesn’t God Make Life Easier for Us?

Posted on: September 27, 2016

 

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WE CAN DEMONSTRATE THE SINCERITY OF OUR LOVE FOR GOD BY CONTINUING TO SERVE HIM EVEN WHILE LIVING A DIFFICULT LIFE

A wealthy person doesn’t want someone to marry them just because they are rich. They want the other person to marry them because the other person truly loves them. Then, if someone loves them, that person ends up doubly blessed. They get the person whom they love… and they get the advantages and pleasures of the person’s wealth.

So, imagine a very wealthy young man who has inherited a massive fortune, who goes away to college, hoping to get, not only his education, but also to find his wife. In this scenario, he might conceal his true circumstances and try to present himself as a normal college student. He might mention nothing of his wealth, his family connections, the family estate. He might conceal all that information as he develops his relationships on campus.

That way, if he falls in love with someone, and she falls in love with him, he can have the confidence that she truly loves him, and not his money.

Now let’s take it a step further. Let’s say that he meets a quality young lady from a very wealthy family. He begins to fall in love with her. And, she begins to develop strong feelings for him. However, she is reluctant to pursue the relationship further because she hopes to marry someone wealthy.

Her assumption and hope is that she will marry someone who is wealthy so that she can live her adulthood in the same financial comfort that she lived her childhood.

Given the option, is she wrong to want to marry a wonderful young man who is wealthy rather than a wonderful young man who is not wealthy? All else being equal, why not?!? So even though she is strongly drawn to him, she resists him.

As their relationship develops, the young man senses this resistance and probes her for the reasons. She is reluctant to admit them. It seems shallow on the surface, and yet there is a good deal at stake.

However, she comes to a crisis point. She recognizes his character, she responds to his genuine spirit of love, she is drawn to his maturity, his depth and a sense of purpose in life. She realizes she truly loves him. He is a better potential husband then she even had the capacity to dream about.

She realizes that she must make a choice. She must abandon her desire for wealth in order to marry a person of higher quality and character than she is likely ever to find again – Or, she can retain her desire for wealth and accept that whoever else she marries would almost certainly not measure up to this young man.

Everything came to a head one night when, in their senior year, just before graduation, the young man asks her to marry him.

In a true crisis, she confesses the fullness of her inner struggle to the young man. She acknowledges to him her desire to be wealthy. She admits her reticence to give herself to him for that reason. But she declares that, in the end, she truly loves him and would rather be married to him and not be wealthy than to be wealthy and not marry him. She accepts his proposal, declares her love for him and that she will marry him, even though believing that in doing so, she is sacrificing a life of wealth.

The young man is not put off because of her struggle. His love for her is not only not diminished, but rather it is increased. This only confirms his assessment of her as a truly quality young woman, because she is willing to give up wealth for love.

He recognizes that the quality of her love for him has been put to the test, and passed. He comprehends that her love for him is demonstrated to be greater because she believes she is willingly giving up something very important in order to marry him.

Now that he is secure in knowing that she truly loves him for who he is, he is able to reveal to her his true circumstances. He is, in fact, extremely wealthy!

And now, because she has agreed to marry him for who he is, she will have not only the man who was beyond her dreams, but she will also have the life of wealth she originally hoped for. She ends up doubly blessed. They marry and live happily ever after.

That story represents the dilemma God is in with us. God loves us, and He wants us to love Him. But, He wants us to love Him for who He is… not merely for what we might get out of it.

If God were to pour out his temporal blessings on everyone who declared their allegiance to him, it would not be clear if someone were worshiping God for who He truly is, or for His temporal blessings.

And so, like the young man in our story, God devised a way to test the sincerity of our love: He would not necessarily pour out his temporal blessings on those who say they love him. In fact, he would allow them to suffer the same physical problems as people who do not worship him. In fact, He goes further, and even allows those who worship him to sometimes suffer worse problems than those who do not worship Him. Even worse, He sometimes allows those who worship Him to suffer atrocities at the hands of those who do not worship Him.

In return however, God promises that anything we sacrifice for Him on earth will be rewarded many times over in heaven (Matthew 19:29). He further promises that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).

For those who love God for who He truly is, they are willing to serve him even though they “get nothing out of it” in this life.

Now, of course, they do get something out of it in this life. They get the joy of living life in relationship with the creator of the universe (1 John 1:3). They get the blessing of the Holy Spirit’s working His character into their lives – the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They get the purpose, meaning, and satisfaction of having something greater than themselves to live for, and of being gifted by Him for great purpose in life (Ephesians 2:10). They get the capacity for deep meaningful relationships with other people (John 17:20-21). They do get much out of this life for worshiping God.

But the comforts and pleasures that this world affords, and an easy life in which we get our way, are not necessarily part of it.

So, we demonstrate the sincerity of our love for God by continuing to worship and serve Him in spite of the appearance in practical terms that “we don’t get anything out of it.” It is a privilege to demonstrate true love and worship of God while living a difficult life. It reveals true character. And in the end, it will be more than worth it. In the end, we will have the One we love, and unimaginable wealth and blessing.


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