33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever allude to the fact that following Christ will be a cakewalk or that we will arrive at a picture-perfect hollywood-type of dream life. Comfortable living while sitting on a beach sipping pina colada’s with a millions dollars, no trials and no hardship, are not the heartbeat of the Christian life, and if it were, 9 times out of 10, it would be a miserable Christian life romanced by the misconception of comfortable living, since earthly things don’t satisfy. We just think they do, because we are sold that they do.
In (John 16:33) we see this very real and honest statement from Jesus showing us the underlining reality of our misconception-based living. Jesus is showing us that we will not have a comfortable christian life living and serving Christ, but more importantly He shows us that: we will have peace, contentment and victory as over-comers. In order to unlock the beauty and goodness of what He is saying, we have work hard to align or re-align our understanding of what the world says with what Jesus says and decide which is more important.
The very idea or misconception of 100% comfortable-living, is in fact, the evil antagonist of the gospel and it’s not the primary message of the cross. If we were to attempt to live a completely comfortable life –a life lived for ourselves and the fulfilment of our own desires and comforts, we would miss the saving grace, and main purpose of the cross, and if we miss the point of the cross we will lose everything and we won’t be confronted with the uncomfortable reality that we are sick sinners in need of a Saviour, sinners who need to change daily and surrender to Christ, as the antidote for our sickness. Like sick cancer patients we would be heading towards death, without realizing there was a viable cure.
Jesus never preached a glamorous message of ease and comfortability in this life. He preached a far better message –a very incredible message of peace and hope for the condemned sinner, an understanding that our sins have been washed, thus giving us access to His eternal Kingdom due to Christ’s victory won on the cross.
When we reduce the goal of life into a worldly formula of chasing a comfortable life or aspire to live the “good” life by worldly standards, instead of the Creator’s stands, we blind ourselves and we believe a lie, that’s because comfortable-living doesn’t exist. There is no “good” life outside of Christ and realizing we are inadequate without Him, that’s because our sinful nature, if indulged, actually harms us and takes us down a dark sinful path away from the real good life found in Christ’s freedom from sin.
The only way the reality of a comfortable life exists is if we work hard daily to bi-pass the undeniable reality of our sinful nature. Comfortable living is not the goal of true christ-centered Christian living. It doesn’t even exist, because it’s not God’s ultimate purpose for our His creation or our lives. It’s a fabricated lie from the enemy, the devil.
However, although comfortable-living is not the goal of Christian-living, peace, hope, victory and deliverance from sin are all very tangible bi-products of the victory won at the cross. When we serve and seek Christ and strive to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37), we allow God to remove the counter-gospel lie of striving simply to live a comfortable life.
And in doing so, we allow Him to remove the dangerous sinful cancers destroying us within and keeping us from living the real “good” life, we situate ourselves in a God-centered place –a God centered place to receive His peace, His goodness, His comfort, His truth, and the reality that He has overcome the world, and if we understand this above reality it should anchor us and give us true hope and true Christ-centered comfort, instead of temporary worldly comfort that is void of the saving grace power of the cross.
Where we run into problems, in believing the counter-gospel message or misconception of comfortable-living and make it the goal of the Christian life, the main error creeps in when we try to value the world’s standards over God’s standards, we try to value comfort over true contentment or true peace. When we worship comfort over contentment and peace we empower the powerless gods of this age –we rob ourselves of God’s victory to free us from our sinful nature and we deny ourselves the antidote that cures us daily of our disease-nature and we remain sick and needy.
Instead of chasing comfortable-living, as life’s ultimate goal, we need to work hard to allow Christ’s ultimate truth and design re-align of thinking — today and every day — and we need to recognize true Christ-centered peace, contentment and victory are readily available. Yet, the former are only available to the sinner bowing down at the feet of the cross –the one who realizes his need and his sinful nature.
By dedicating ourselves to allow Christ to magnify our sin, we daily dedicate ourselves to daily heart-surgery and heart-change, and we willingly place ourselves on the great Physician’s –God’s incredible operation table, and that makes us uncomfortable. Yet, it’s the only true pathway to freedom and a “good” life. It’s the only way to be free’d from our sin day-by-day and to head towards regeneration and eternity with our Saviour.
There is a profound difference between comfortable-living and contentment-driven living, and how you process or understand the difference, and the way you chose to view life or live in response to the profound difference, will determine greatly the ever-increasing rhythmical patter or ebb and flow driving the direction of your life, your decisions, your responses, and your understanding, and it will determine whether you have access to true peace or false peace –peace that is soaked in the saving and cleansing blood of Jesus Christ or peace that is soaked in the false reality of the misconception of comfortable-living.