“1I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. 2I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.” Eccl 2:1ff

Life often feels good. But making “feeling good” the chief aim is a bad life model because it doesn’t help you cope with reality. People will throw bad stuff at you. What then? The weather will rain on your parade. What then? And your own sinfulness creates negative consequences. What then? Life cannot be only the Utopia of always feeling good. When you wake up you are going to have mountains to climb. You are going to have jerks and idiots to address. You are going to have pain and sweat of your brow labor to complete. So life can often feel good, but do not accept the fantasy that the other stuff does not exist. It all has to be addressed because it is called the real world.

“14Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews. 2:14ff.

Jesus did not run from the difficulties. Neither should we. Embrace the difficult. Do your work. Be brave in the face of danger. Have faith that God is with you when you enter the valley of the shadow of death.

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