I used this illustration in a recent sermon on how believers can expect situations and circumstances to not go as planned…especially when obeying the Lord.

I grew up in North Alabama. One of the 3 channels we got on our family television was WAAY 31. The weatherman (chief meteorologist) at the time was Gary Dobbs. Everyone loved Gary. Especially our family.

Whoever ran the Public Relations for WAAY 31 and Gary Dobbs was an absolute genius. Scattered throughout North Alabama were billboards. Blue background. White letters. The only thing written on the billboards was this: “Gary said it was going to be like this.” Brilliant.

If it was 70 degrees and sunny, “Gary said it was going to be like this.”

If it was 24 degrees and snowy, “Gary said it was going to be like this.”

If it was 98 degrees and humid, “Gary said it was going to be like this.”

The point? Had you watched Gary Dobbs the night before on WAAY 31, you would have known it would be exactly like this.

I was always intrigued by that and thought, “If I watch Gary’s weather forecast, I won’t ever be surprised by the weather.”

When a believer goes through difficulty – especially as a result of obeying the Lord – he or she can confidently say, “Jesus said it was going to be like this.” Over and over again He told His boys they “would have trouble in this world;” and “beware when all men speak well of you;” and “if they called me a devil, they will do the same to you.”

One of the most comforting things we can do for each other is to remind and encourage one another that “Jesus said it would be like this.” The disciples in Acts rejoiced when they suffered for the Name. Not because suffering was fun. Because they knew they were in the center of His will.

Have you recently obeyed the Lord, only to learn that circumstances got worse for you, not better? No worries. You’re in good company. Oh, and by the way, Jesus said it was going to be like this.