“Inside Out: Part 2-‘We Are Thirsty People’-Chp. 5-‘Springs Of Living Water? Then Why So Much Pain?'”

Based on my own life experiences and multitudes of others around the world, both in the past and now, I would say that suffering for Jesus Christ is a mandate. Suffering can go from social to political to mental, emotional, physical, or even spiritual pressure to do what people want you to do, instead of what God wants. For suffering can include two or more of these, or in some cases, it can include all. Dr. Larry Crabb writes on page 83 that

If you really want to feel good right away and get rid of any unpleasant emotion, then I don’t recommend following Christ. (Inside Out; pg. 83)

In fact, it goes right along with one of my favorite verses:

For to this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so also you may follow in His steps. (1. Peter 2:21 ESV)

But Crabb goes on to write,

Preachers all across America are building huge congregations on the promise of unblemished happiness now. (Pg. 83)

And under The Painful Path to God, he pens this:

Until we acknowledge the painful disappointment in our circumstances and relationships (particularly the latter), we will not pursue Christ with the passion of our deep thirst. Or, to put it more simply, we rarely learn to meaningfully when our lives are comfortable. … What we want simply is not there, but as a fallen being, we naturally seek joy in every relationship except in our relationship with God. (pg. 92-3)

OUCH!!! However, if you think about relationships, Dr. Crabb is correct. We care more about our family and friends than we do about establishing a connection with God. Now, I am not saying that we should ditch our family and friends and pursue God, for that would be taking the whole Word of God out of context. Didn’t Jesus Christ say, “Love your enemies”? Yet, humans have a hard enough time loving their family and friends all the time, even when you don’t think its in your best interest.

Links to. YouTube music videos:

“Even If”-MercyMe

“Even If”-Kutless

“Purpose In The Pain”-Matt Hybarger

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