“Too often we approach the Christian life, relationships, and ministry with the expectation that if we put in enough time, effort, and faithful service—in the end it will turn out well for us. The payoff will come—and even in this life. But surely, we don’t think that way, do we? We who are heirs of the Reformation and its recovery of the doctrines of grace? Don’t be so sure. Consider, in your most honest moments, whether you’ve ever thought this way or had these expectations:
- If I raise my children in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” they will follow Christ and carry on a Christian legacy for another generation.
- If I live a chaste single life, pursuing God with all my heart, he will provide a spouse for me.
- If I follow Christ, surely I’ll be spared the worst tragedies (we expect suffering but not too much suffering).”