When anyone is raising kids buying school clothes, games, or toys or allowing them free time is the best thing ever, they may think. When a parent chooses chores and homework, disciplining them for whatever reason, the parent is viewed as a ‘meanie,’ especially a stepparent. Interestingly, chores teach responsibility, and homework prepares them for a great future, whether academically or they choose to choose a vocation. Disciplining teaches them to be responsible for their actions and how those actions relate to those around them. So, the best contribution to their lives that causes them to experience all their potential are the things they may hate the most. 

In our walk with God, are we willing to accept what He believes is best for the life He came and died to establish in and through us (John 10:10), or is our walk with God more about enjoying all the toys we desire to have? If our focus is the toys, our interest in developing a heart for Christ, John teaches, will not be there (1 John 2:15-17). If this is the case when God challenges us to grow and serve Him, we may become annoyed. 

God’s desire is to provide us “life and life abundantly” (John 10:10). His goal is to establish a friendship (John 15:13) that grants us the desires of our hearts (John 15:7-8). Like any good parent knowing that the Evil One is vigilantly seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:6-11), He desires the best for us. This is why there are times when God disciplines us because He loves us (Hebrews 7:5-11), He allows us to experience trials because He knows since we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; NASB) trials mature us and perfect us (James 1:2-4) causing us to become everything He has in store for us. His desire is not to make our experience difficult; it is to empower us so that with all the evil, and stressful circumstances we may encounter, they never defeat us because by maturing us, we live as overcomers. As overcomers, we bear much fruit (John 15:1-4), gaining joy, peace, longsuffering, faithfulness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-25), not anger and bitterness. When we trust our heavenly Father’s commitment to raise us, we also gain His protection (Colossians 3:1-4); “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. O taste and see that the Lord is good;………. O fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him, there is no want. (Psalm 34:7-9; NASB)

We must trust the heart of our Father even if it means losing our lives for Him: we gain a whole lot more (Luke 9:24). Remember He came to provide abundant life (John 10:10).