Monday, December 5, 2011

A promise of trouble?

I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

I believed for many years that I lived a pretty easy life, and I did. Part of the lie that I believed was that it was due, at least in part, to my being obedient to Christ. Now, obedience does bring peace and it keeps us out of messy life consequences that are the result of sinful behavior but it certainly doesn't guarantee a life without hurt and pain.

Early in my adult years, I experienced some devastating changes that occurred in my family that brought about loss and confusion. I took it particularly hard. I felt as though we didn't "deserve" the hurt that we were handed. (Oh my precious Lord, may I never receive what I "deserve") I wasted many years on my misplaced feelings of anger and hurt towards the very God that sought to comfort me and give me peace.

 I understand now that Jesus is telling us that we are not guaranteed an easy life. In fact, he promises us we will definitely have troubles. If the teaching of Christ stopped at that point, it would be depressing, huh? But Jesus goes on to tell them to keep their heads up. He has overshadowed all of that with his love. He has already overcome.

His Word does, however, guarantee a peace if we are willing to walk with Him-step by step, moment by moment. I'll be honest with you. I'm still not sure how to do this but I know in my heart it has everything to do with surrender-surrender of our fears of loss, rejection, hurt. And I know that if Jesus said it, then it is absolutely true. It is possible to have peace in the times of troubles, heartbreak, and devastation. Peace, mind you, doesn't mean we have to understand what we are going through or that we can't struggle with it. Peace is knowing that God is on the throne and we are not (how messy my life would be if I was on the throne!). Peace is knowing that God will never let me down when the humans around me fail. Peace is knowing that one day I will be with him forever and that this life is like a vapor compared to the eternity we will spend in worship.

I hope these verses are helping you as much as they are helping me. Thank you for all of the encouragement that you have given me. It helps me to stick with it.
I am praying hard as we walk through this journey together.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

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