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Your Best Life Will Not Come Now

Your Best Life Will Not Come Now

Every Christian must grapple with the collision of two experiences, the collision of expectations and reality.  For many new believers there can be a new found joy and peace unlike anything they have ever experienced but if they are not careful they can attempt to codify that experience and believe that the emotions of joy and peace will dominate their earthly life.  This is a set up for great sadness when our earthly experiences do not square with our expectations of a pain free and trouble free life.  So what do we need to remember when we find ourselves in the teeth of that collision of expectation and reality?

John Piper, author of A Peculiar Glory, provides important reminders as we work through this collision. First, remember that we are never entitled to a life without hardship. If we forget this truth then we will be prone to deep sadness because the reality of life will continually snag the fabric of our pain free worldview. Secondly, the New Testament is relentless about helping us to lower our expectation of this life and to raise our expectations of our next life. This precept is seen clearly in 1 Peter 4:12-13:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, asthough something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Lastly, Christians must become resolved in their belief that having hope and pain at the same time is part of the authentic Christian experience.  In other words, though we as Christians are prone to affliction (Psalm 34:19) and will groan inwardly as we await our fully realized humanity (Romans 8:23) we are never without hope. Let these words from a Christ follower who was very acquainted with fear and failure remind us of an ever present hope:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4)

Live in that hope and embrace what God DOES give you in this life.