Our vision of who God is determines how we react to our circumstances.
In Mark 13 the disciples see the magnificence of the Temple in Jerusalem and they draw Jesus’ attention to it. But Jesus’ reply to them must have been suppressing ‘”Do you see all these great buildings?” Replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down”’. To a Jew of that time the temple was the symbol of God’s presence with them. Their entire identity was centered on the temple. The destruction of the temple would mean that God had abandoned them. The problem is that their confidence in God lay in man-made structures, in religious institutions, in teachers and teachings. Yet they had the Jesus with them. The presence of God was there and they did not recognize him.
Sometimes it is necessary to break down in order to rebuild, but breaking down comes with pain and loss. That is what Jesus is preparing his disciples for. Hard times were lying ahead, but they were necessary for growth. All the disciples had to know is that Jesus was with them, the Holy Spirit would guide them and they had to look to Him and not their circumstances.
So how does this relate to us? We don’t need a temple to find God, or do we? Is our faith invested in in the church building, or in God? Is our hope in Jesus Christ, or in an inspiring sermon? Do we live our lives guided by the Holy Spirit, or by our circumstances? What if that comfortable chair you’re sitting on right now is suddenly yanked from under you? Are you going to get angry and storm off, blaming the Church or the preacher, will you find another chair that is more comfortable, or are you going to take the opportunity to stand or even kneel in the presence of God. Yes it is a lot more uncomfortable, but it is so much more meaningful.
God is not here for our comfort, we are here for His glory.