Things Jesus Never Said

Follow Me and you’ll be trouble free.

This is from my devotional today. I think there may be some of you who might need to know this. If so I hope it blesses you like it did me.

A normally rowdy eight-year-old boy came home from school in tears and marched straight to bed. Instead of his sneakers tearing through the house, something horrid was tearing through him. He’d gotten in trouble again for talking in class. He was crying as if he’d lost the family dog and forfeited his chance to ever eat ice cream again in a future life as a monk who would only ever do chores and take naps whilst sitting silent at under-sized desks.

Joking aside, it was really bad. He was heartbroken.

After peeling him off his pillow and then prying into his little life, Dad dug up a painful root. “I don’t think I was ready to be baptized,” the big-hearted boy said through streaming tears. “I thought if I followed Jesus, I wouldn’t make so many mistakes.”

I thought if I followed Jesus I wouldn’t: struggle with addiction, nearly lose my marriage, lose my temper, get divorced, struggle financially, lose a loved one too early, deal with doubt, watch my kids leave their faith, experience temptation, miss the promotion, miss the promotion again, get talked about behind my back, lose popularity, or make so many mistakes. Which thoughts have you had?

That’s not a cute, made-up story about an imaginary boy. He’s as real as you. He was broken for the same reason anyone’s broken: He misunderstood who Jesus is and what Jesus says. Jesus never said, “Follow Me and you’ll be trouble free.” He said things like, “Follow Me and: I’ll make you fishers of men; Let not your hearts be troubled; You will experience troubles, but I have overcome the world; Deny yourself; I’ll give you real rest; Lose your life for My sake and you’ll find it.” That’s a paraphrased list, but you can read Jesus’ words for yourself in today’s Scripture reading.

So, Dad looked the little boy in the eye and said, “Following Jesus doesn’t mean you never get in trouble—it means you’re already forgiven. It means He’s with you now and next time you need help doing the right thing. It means He loves you even when you make a mistake bigger than talking in class.”

Jesus didn’t invite us to some kind of trouble-free, easy life. He invites us to give everything yet receive more than we could ever want or earn.

Pray: Jesus, will You show me how I’ve misunderstood You? Forgive me for trying to pursue ease instead of Your presence and for trying to secure my perfection instead of accepting Your grace. Thank You for not only forgiving me, but for being with me today. Amen.

 

Thanks to You Version the Bible app

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