Are you uncomfortable?

No, I’m not talking about the pews! … At the Oxygen conference one of the speakers (Paul Tripp) said: ‘Jesus will take you where you have not planned to go in order to produce in you what you could not. It’s grace.’ He called this ‘theology of uncomfortable grace’, which might sound strange, but it really is very helpful for you and me. Let me explain—

In Mark 6:45 Jesus makes his disciples get into the boat in order to go to the other side … except that the wind is against them and they row all night without reaching the other side. Can you imagine doing something exhausting for hours and hours and still not getting what you want? Probably you can. The disciples could … and every follower of Jesus (like you and me) should be able to, for we all have things in our lives (e.g. attitudes, words, actions and habits) which do not please Jesus. We might have tried repeatedly to remove or stop those things … but have not been able to.

So what is God’s ‘solution’? What will Jesus do in order to shape us more and more into his perfect image (see Romans 8:28-30)? Well, one thing Jesus does at times is make us ‘uncomfortable’: he took the disciples into a situation which they couldn’t solve, and he takes you and me into situations where we will be uncomfortable. We would not choose to go there ourselves, but Jesus uses the situation to help us become more godly.

How does he do that? One part of it is that he makes us realise (again) that we can’t solve the problem but need Him to. When the disciples in the boat were afraid Jesus said ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’, the wind stopped, and they reached the other side. So when you are taken by Jesus into ‘discomfort’, do not immediately try to get it to stop, but realise that Jesus is with you, you don’t need to be afraid, and He might be wanting to grow you in your faith by that very experience.

So … being uncomfortable can actually be helpful for us … but I’m just not sure that applies to pews as well!



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