Last week I may have given a friend some bad advice. This friend is miserable right now. Life sucks and she is having to make some hard choices. My bad advice was, “I’m sure God doesn’t want you to be unhappy
Even though we both know better, our conversation (and my advice!) turned God into a Heavenly Sugar Daddy who would spoil us rotten and give in to our whims just to keep us happy.
This week my daily Bible readings have been full (of course) of God’s advice for someone living a miserable life, facing miserable choices.
That advice is: Honor God. Do things and make choices that glorify God.
Sometimes the choices that honor God are the suckiest choices. Sometimes those choices cause us to give up what we think we really want. Here are the verses that really hit home for me this week.
Honoring God vs Avoiding Sucky Life
So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation- the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. Those who wan to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life”
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
An addition: notice that all these verses start out with suffering or hard choices and end in hope.
Please don’t misread this post. I would never suggest that someone put themselves in harm’s way and stay in an abusive situation. Abuse doesn’t honor God. Pouring yourself into a dry marriage honors God. But abuse, or tolerating abuse, can never bring glory to anything.