Many Christians assume that if God really loves us, he will fill our lives with good feelings, satisfied desires and things that make us happy. That may be a common assumption, but it certainly isn’t what God told us he’d do. The Bible is clear that for now, because we live in a fallen world, function in fallen bodies and interact with fallen people, we will experience a life of difficulty. Yes, God loves us (so much so that he was willing to provide for our forgiveness by punishing his Son as though he was the sinner we are), but he has delayed his ultimate blessings until we are done drafting the rest of his yet-to-be enlisted followers. Our goal is to maintain our faith, hope and love until the job is done. In the meantime Jesus reminds us that “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (Jn.15:20). Jesus experienced both, and so will we. Unfortunately, more people rejected, disdained and hated Christ than rightly responded to his call to be reconciled to God. But some did obey his teaching, and occasionally with us they do also. There are those choice few who hear us out, repent of their sin and trust in Christ – which makes all the opposition worth it. So when things in this sinful world make your life hard, know that it was the same for God’s beloved Son. We certainly can’t expect our earthly experience to be any better than the King of kings. But remember that just as Jesus finished his race and entered the perfection of “paradise”, we will too. When our job is done, the love of God will be manifest in uninterrupted good feelings, satisfaction and happiness. Maranatha!