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September 6, 2013

Building a Palace

Like many of you, my goal in life is to be comfortable and avoid pain at all costs. Most Christians think that life is about being comfortable. But the comfort zone mentality robs us of joy and keeps us from seeing God’s goodness. If you wonder why you’re feeling restlessness in your soul, maybe it’s because you’re trying to get comfortable. Romans 12:12 says, “Base your happiness on your hope in Christ. If trials come, endure them patiently…” Is that what it says? No, it doesn’t say that. It says, “When trials come.” It’s not if, but when. You will have trials in life. You will have problems. You will experience suffering. No one is exempt; just know that in the middle of a problem or crisis, God has a purpose. It is part of his transforming process.

It is not suffering alone that transforms us, but suffering with grace. If my suffering results in grumbling and griping, it doesn’t change me for the good and all the sorrows are wasted. But, God doesn’t want to waste a hurt, a tear, or a sorrow. He wants you endure suffering with grace, and we do this by trusting Him. What is grace? Romans 12:3 tells us, “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.” (MSG) Grace is the power to change.

C.S. Lewis tells the story of a house. He says imagine yourself as a living house and God has come to remodel you. At first, He just does the little things like fix repairs on the roof. Things that you know needed to be done, so you’re not surprised by them at all. You don’t even mind them. But, then He starts knocking down walls, making a huge mess, a major construction project where He’s adding new floors, adding new wings to the house, and making courtyards in the backyard. You wonder what’s going on. You don’t understand it, and it feels so uncomfortable. It’s painful. You thought God was going to build you into a little comfortable cottage. But, God is building a palace in which He lives. With all the pain that you are going through, just know this. There is a purpose behind it. God is building you into a palace.