I want you to think of a horrifying thought. And I mean horrifying.
Your life always being easy.
I have to admit for myself that thought doesn't sound all that horrifying at first. In fact, I imagine I kind of would like it. And you know there is a sense in which it really isn't all that terribly horrifying because our eternal future isn't going to be one big long struggle.
But that said, when it comes to life in this world, if it always was easy, if to quote John Calvin, "we enjoyed here an enduring round of wealth and happiness" that would be trouble.
Let me tell you one reason why.
I already have a hard enough time not living for now. It's already pretty tough for me to put my hope in eternal things.
I mean, I know that I'm going to die. That's obvious. And I know that eternity is going to be a whole lot longer than my time here on earth. I know that all the stuff here on earth, it's pretty much like empty. I can't say that I came out of the womb saying I wanted to live for eternity but my parents taught me the importance of living for heaven pretty young.
I know it. I can say it. I understand it. And I'm still tempted to live for now. This is one reason the Lord is so gracious, he doesn't allow our lives here to always be easy.
Quoting Calvin once again, "Our blockishness arises from the fact that our minds, stunned by the empty dazzlements of riches, power and honors become so deadened that they can see no farther. The heart also, occupied with avarice, ambition, and lust, is so weighted down that it cannot rise up higher…The whole soul, enmeshed in the allurements of the flesh seeks its happiness on earth. To counter this evil the Lord instructs his followers in the vanity of the present life by continual proof of its miseries. Therefore, that they may not promise themselves a deep and secure peace in it, he permits them often to be troubled and plagued either with wars or tumults or robberies or other injuries. That they may not pant with too great eagerness after fleeting and transient riches, or repose in those which they possess, he sometimes by exile, somtimes by barrennessof the earth, sometimes by fire, sometimes by other means, reduces them to poverty or at least confines them to a moderate station. That they may not too complacently take delight in the goods of marriage, he either causes them to be troubled by the depravity of their wives or humbles them by evil offspring, or afflicts them with bereavement. But if in all these matters he is more indulgent towards them, yet, that they may not either be puffed up with vainglory or exult in self-assurance, he sets before their eyes, through diseases and perils, how unstable and fleeting are all the goods that are subject to mortality."