When I start seeking comfort and a way out, I turn to people in the Bible. You can really turn to any of them that you want and see that God has never called us to a life of ease. I’ve been studying the life of Jeremiah. His world was not that different from ours when you pick it apart. People wanted comfort over struggles. They preferred ease and the love of people over the truth and the “well done” from God.
Jeremiah got hate mail. He had face to face encounters with angry people.
His sermons didn’t draw a friendly crowd because they were filled with a message of the comforts of life ending and the need for repentance.
From a human perspective his ministry would be regarded as a failure.
But!!! Men like Daniel and Ezekiel grew up knowing of Jeremiah. Men who loved and respected the Word of God. They learned the need for intestinal fortitude and faithfulness no doubt from Jeremiah.
For 40 years he endured hatred, affliction and opposition.
For years he appeared to be a false prophet so his reputation and character were on the line. People questioned his authority and motives.
There are remarkable similarities between Jeremiah and Jesus.
However, Jeremiah wasn’t perfect. He is AN example, not THE example.
He had bad days.
But he kept doing the thing.
On my dark days, it’s good to have people like this to read about and see how people treated them and even better how faithful God always was and still is.
We are a people who want comfort.
We want pats on the back and human acknowledgement.
We want an escape hatch when things get tough.
That’s our human side.
But, we aren’t called to live out of our human side. The Holy Spirit enables us to stand firm, to focus on Jesus, to keep doing the hard things in the hard times.
I have a lot of Pollyanna in me. I try to focus on the good, the good people, the encouraging people around me. I try to focus on the ones who are standing firm as well and looking to me to stand firm. It’s just not always easy.
But, if you believe the Christian life is meant to be easy, read the book of Jeremiah. Read Isaiah. Read the gospels and Paul’s epistles. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover many times and I don’t think I’ve ever found easy. But I have found a God who is faithful.
My aunt said something to me that stuck. She said that we just have to keep our eyes open and our hearts ready and always be preparing ourselves for what God already has prepared. We do that by staying in the Word and having a prayer life that is not always about us. Our own little worlds can be so tiny in the scope of eternity. I don’t want to live in that world.
But a few respites of ease and comfort are nice, when we can get them. I’ve just found that they are few and far between.