Jesus Didn't Come to Make You Happy
This is where that Debbie Downer sad "wah wah" sound effect comes in. :-)
No, but seriously. Taking off from that choice quote on discipleship from the Mike Ayers message I highlighted yesterday -- "To be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life" -- I think it's very important to note the place we tend to go off the rails most when trying to find God's will and to follow Jesus. We have this notion that difficulty or trial or problems are somehow indications of being outside of God's will, conveniently forgetting that Jesus himself promised us trouble, that Paul himself called suffering a privilege, and that the entire testimony of Scripture speaks to difficulty as the very refining process through which our faith is matured and our characters are made most like Christ's.
There's nothing wrong with seeking safety and ease, except when we do so at the expense of faith, and therefore at the expense of holiness. Jesus did not come to enhance our lives, to somehow give us the American dream of "life, love, and the pursuit of happiness." He came to give us life, because we were dead. He came to give us the gift of God's grace and love, and many times the experience of grace and love finds us smack dab in the ups and downs of a life requiring patience, faith, endurance, and hope.
The fruit of the Spirit are not comfort, happiness, convenience . . . The fruit of the Christian life is not meant to be circumstantial and emotional. They are deeper, faith-rich qualities born of adversity.
Jesus did not come to make you happy. He came to make you holy. And there is a joy in that process we can find that is much deeper, much greater, much better than the happiness we are far too easily pleased with.