Why do I expect this life to be perfect? Why do I do I want this life to be a smooth ride? Why do I want the weather to always be nice?
I was finally able to watch the movie God’s Not Dead just a couple of days ago. I have to say, I enjoyed it very much and in many levels. I like the Newsboys, so of course that was a big draw to see it. But beyond that, I found out that I identify with the several layers of the film. For starters, I am a college professor who struggles with being open about my faith around my colleagues. I am in touch with college students who have been harassed and ridiculed for their faith. But I am also a person who is trying to find the wisdom that comes once we fully experience God’s peace regardless of the circumstances. And it was at this level where the movie, unexpectedly, touched me the most.
My favorite scene is when one of the biggest you-know-what in the movie, probably the meanest and most heartless character of all, sits in the quiet living room behind his dementia-ridden, elderly Mother and in the most despicable manner, he ponders how it is possible that she, being the “nicest person” he knows could be in such a diminished state, while he, “the meanest person” he knows, enjoys a perfect life…
In a moment of clarity, the Mother gives him a profound explanation in reply to his inquiry.
I can’t quote the full message verbatim, but what I got from her words was this,
Sometimes, the Devil tricks us with a smooth and trouble-free life to deceive us into believing that we don’t need God. Our sin is like a jail cell, except that it is all nice and comfy…the door is wide open, but we don’t see the need to leave…however, one day, the door slams shut, and it is too late to escape.
What else can I say? What could I possibly add? Let’s Scripture speak to us and remind us that trials are nothing but a manifestation of God’s unique and refining kind of love for His children. Therefore, let’s consider it all “pure joy.” After all, it is only for a “little while.”
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5: 2b-5
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1: 6-7
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1: 2-4