Life is not simple. It never has been simple. No period in my life has been simple. Nothing simplifies life. Money does not. Success does not. Status does not. Accomplishment does not. Pleasure does not. "Dropping out" does not. Being irresponsible does not. There are only two types of people who affirm that life is simple: those who live in denial and those who live in self-manufactured pretense.

Why can't life be simple? An endless list of things complicate life. Just one item on that list forever occurs. The unexpected always happens, and it is never predictable. The only thing predictable about the unexpected is that it will happen.

Spiritual existence is not simple. Serving God is not simple. Being godly is not simple. Accepting responsibility is not simple. Living in relationships is not simple. Accepting forgiveness is not simple. Living in forgiveness is not simple.

Why can't we make life simple? Because there is a war going on. God and Satan are at war. They are at war in our world. They are at war in our society. They are at war in our city. They are at war in our families. They are at war in our individual lives. War complicates every aspect of life.

Then what are we to do? Never take our eyes off of God and His work in our lives. Never take our eyes off of Jesus Christ and his work in our lives.

Ephesians 3:14-21, "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update, La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation, 1996.)

The better we understand and trust the purposes of God, the more certainly the chaos of life is transformed into the purpose of life.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 28 February 1999

This sermon is also available in French.

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