Don't believe me? Listen in to some insights from the Apostle Paul through Philippians 1:29-30:
"For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it."
That doesn't sell very well, though, does it? Most of the time you hear the other side of the pitch, right? "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."That's because God does, in fact, love you and have a wonderful plan for your life. Jesus reveals this in John 10:10...
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)I bring all that up because so often it's easy to live on one side of the Bible instead of the other. The Scriptures are full of amazing truths that live in tension with each other while both being equally true... which may seem hard to wrap our brains around until we recognize the heart of the Father.
I remember when I took the training wheels off the bike of my oldest son's bike. We sort of worked up to it, but in that definitive moment it seemed as though I had a very "difficult" plan for his life. As he trusted me to run behind him and guide his forward momentum, though, he started to understand that my plan was actually a pretty "wonderful" one of freedom... even if it was a bit difficult.
Catch the picture?
It is the daily grind that God gives a person polish. There will be times that we taste of the difficult path, but that doesn't mean that it isn't based on a wonderful motivation with a heavenly future. Likewise, those wonderful moments we might enjoy serve to remind us of God's grace and are often best enjoyed after we've been on an authentic path to get there. It's odd, but even knowing that the journey on this side of heaven is difficult can increase our trust in Christ - for we get to see how He is persevering through the adventure with us.
Which, by the way, is a big reason why He created the Church.
You are not alone on your journey through life... so please make use of the gift we have in each other. Maybe you're inclined to keep the training wheels on, but God has a wonderful, difficult plan for your life that will help you enjoy the ride as He intended.