Since the Super Bowl was this past Sunday, my mind has been going towards memorable commercials. Now, I don’t know if the “Easy Button” commercial was a Super Bowl classic, but it’s one of my all-time faves. That’s because I often wish there was an “Easy Button” for life.
Two weeks ago, I posed the question, “Is God’s Will Always a Success Story?” I posed that question because I think there’s something inherent in each one of us that not only wants things to go well, but also to go easily. And I think many Christians are under the mistaken notion that if you are in the middle of God’s will, all will not only go well, but also be easy. Are you familiar with the “Doctrine of Christian-ease?” If not, here it is: if it’s God’s will, he will open the door, or even better, “if he doesn’t open a door, he opens a window,” blah, blah, blah.
But what if you’ve endured years of hardship and unending pain? What if you’ve hit the floor every morning to pray for God to act in some way to improve your situation, and yet you remain in what feels like “the wilderness”? Does that mean you are not in God’s will?
When we look at the lives of those in the Bible who were submitted to and living out God’s will, we discover that God’s will didn’t guarantee it would be easy. Of course, sometimes the biblical characters caused the delay or difficulties by their own sinful choices. But very often, God had a purpose in the pain each person endured.
- God made Abraham wait until he was 100 years old before he gave Abraham his promised son. It wasn’t Abraham’s fault for the delay—simply God’s plan to display His power.
- In Joseph’s case, God used years of slavery, false accusations, and imprisonment as a tool to prepare Joseph for the second biggest job in the land of Egypt. It appears that Joseph was nothing but faithful to God during those dark years. So, where was Joseph’s door or window during that dark time?
- God used the persecution, trials, and death of Christ to demonstrate the devotion Christ had to the Father and to each one of us. Pain was the very mode God used to accomplish his will.
- The same could be said for every one of the apostles who lived an imprisoned, persecuted and beaten life, all so that the gospel could be spread. In fact, very often God used the persecutions to move the apostles into new and different territory—thereby spreading the gospel far and wide.
Sometimes I get discouraged and question if I am in God’s will because things continue to be so difficult. But when I look at all that can only be accomplished by the pain I experience in life—and not the ease—I realize that I need to kick the “Easy Button” to the curb and trust God to bring it on!