Our culture has come to value only things that are practical, things that work. Every idea or conviction is judged by its utility: Will it help me raise my kids, build a successful marriage, live a healthy life? When an idea or conviction doesn’t come through, we find it easy to move on to another product. So often, when people come to Christ, they are promised ‘victory in Jesus.’ Smiling people tell about how they once were unhappy, but now they are filled with buoyant exultation. Broken marriages are fixed, wayward children are returned to the straight and narrow, and depression is banished.
God nowhere promises us temporal prosperity, but the way he has redeemed us makes all of our trials cruciform, that is, shaped not by the circumstances themselves but by suffering and victory of Christ…The message we are given to proclaim is not that God has come to make our lives better, more interesting, more influential, more virtuous, or more successful, but to bury us and make us alive.
Michael Horton from A Place for Weakness (pp 46-47)