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In seasons of disappointment or discouragement we can often ask "Does God just always want my life to be hard?" or "Why do others seem to have it so easy all the time?"

One of the tensions we hold on to as Christians (not seek to resolve) is that God is doing something different in all of our lives, while calling us all to the same things.  For some it is Spring, for others, Winter.  For some, relationships are currently enjoyable and life-giving; for others, relationships are currently needing work and constant "weeding".  For some the bank accounts are full,  . . .others. . . empty.   What do we do with that?  Here are some things to remember:  

1)  If you are on the "good" end of the equation and are in a season of ease, comfort, wealth, etc. . consider the fact that God may have given you that season to be blessing to others and help with their needs.   It IS glorifying to God to praise him, laugh, smile, sing loud, and rejoice in good times.  But, remember that there is probably someone near you who is not in such a time, and you may be God's blessing to them.  Also, be on the lookout for this:

2)  There is no way to seek 100% ease and comfort without compromising your faith.  Through many trials we enter the Kingdom of God.  There are no "spiritual get-rich quick" schemes and shortcuts to godliness.  We will take up our cross, we will die to ourselves.  Well, unless we don't want to follow Christ anymore.   Those difficulties are the Christian life.  So, in a season of prosperity and ease, don't fight to keep that season going when hardship hits.  I'd say, in fact, that much sin we fall into is from making an effort to hold on to comfort when God is calling us into the valley.   Follow Christ. There is peace, there is His Presence, but dodging the hard times is not God's will for his children.  He's using those times; He has a purpose in them.  "God what do you want to teach me?" , a heartfelt, hard, deep thing to pray in the midst of a storm.   There is no way to seek ease and comfort all the time and not compromise your faith.  

This does not mean you can't ever seek to change your circumstances.  But, pain relief should never be the driving factor in such decisions.  

3) We need to consider personality-type and relational styles when we evaluate the prosperity or pain of others.   Some people just seem to have it together all the time.  Some people seem to always have a good attitude.  Good for them.  That doesn't necessarily make them "phony". That doesn't mean they don't have trials.  Some people just interact with the world in a more optimistic way.   Some people don't have internal angst about decisions.  That's ok.  They have other stress points and difficulties that we are not aware of. 

At the same time, others seem to always be in a hard time, always seem to be processing, always seem to see the glass as half-empty, or perhaps broken on the floor.   That is ok.  That doesn't mean their life is necessarily harder than others' (though God may have them in a tougher season).  This is how they process information.  They need to think through things, need to process.  The success of others makes them question their own life decisions.  That is ok.  Don't be too quick to try and "fix" someone's outlook.  Just be with them. . . be present and listen.  

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God is doing different things in all of our lives.  But, we are all called to connect in community, called to bear one another's burdens, and called to rejoice with those who rejoice/weep with those who weep.   Seeking to escape hardship can, at times, be running away from God.   Dwelling on our hardship and refusing comfort and care can also be a kind of "running" away from God.  Bottom line; be God's.  Be all his, wherever He's taking You.  That's where you want to be.  

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