Don’t be surprised! All together now: DON’T BE SURPRISED!

1.  Conflict will likely heat up as you grow in the Lord.
2.  Stay present … to the very end.  “At your post, soldier!”

3.  Be willing to live in this tension:  Is this a time where I just let it go, or should I speak up, speaking the truth in love?  (If it is the latter, be of good courage moving toward the conflict, not away from it.)
4.  If it was true for Jesus’ life, what makes us think it will not be true for us?  

5.  Indomitable joy in the face of sorrow and suffering, friends.  

6.  We Jesus followers are the happiest people in the world, but we aren’t unrealistic, giddy people.  Only people who dissociate from reality are like that.  Jesus was happy, very happy it seems to me.  But he was also a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.  That is our life, too, if we follow Him.  
Here’s a good example of what I mean …

Luke 13:31-35 (The Message) 
31 Just then some Pharisees came up and said, “Run for your life! Herod’s on the hunt. He’s out to kill you!”

32-35 Jesus said, “Tell that fox that I’ve no time for him right now. Today and tomorrow I’m busy clearing out the demons and healing the sick; the third day I’m wrapping things up. Besides, it’s not proper for a prophet to come to a bad end outside Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killer of prophets,
        abuser of the messengers of God!
How often I’ve longed to gather your children,
        gather your children like a hen,
Her brood safe under her wings—
        but you refused and turned away!
And now it’s too late: You won’t see me again
        until the day you say,
    ‘Blessed is he
    who comes in
    the name of God.’”

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