Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 (NIV)
Many people feel that painful trials will not come to a person who has chosen to follow Jesus Christ. But the Bible never promises that or even suggests it.
It’s important to draw out false, unrealistic expectations, which are often shaped by the mistaken idea that if there is a loving God, we should experience a comfortable life. But Peter says this is not always the case.
Christians still struggle with sin, doubt, and fear. Christians do not feel pain less simply because Christ is with them. Christians are not necessarily safer, healthier, or wealthier than other people.
Christians, every one of us, are a mass of contradictions. We love Jesus, but we struggle with the flesh. We have faith, but we struggle with many doubts. We have been forgiven, but we are not yet wholly free from sin. We have discovered the truth, but there are so many things that we do not know or understand. We have many unanswered questions. We experience God’s comfort, and yet we feel the pain of our failures and loss.
Let’s take off our rose-tinted spectacles. Then we will be able to look at life as it really is and discover what God has to say about how to live in this world.
If you go through life with unrealistic and unbiblical expectations, you will live in a constant fog of confusion, frustration, and disappointment. It’s very important if we are to live this Christian life that we shape our expectations from the Bible.
What is one expectation you have of the Christian life that might not be from the Bible? (Reflect on what you’ve been saying to yourself about your circumstances.)