Thursday, September 29, 2011

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

  • We watched a family say goodbye to their loved one. Tremendously sad – he had a short, but fierce, battle with a rare cancer. There was barely enough time to process the diagnosis and he was gone.
  • A mysterious medical issue suddenly took the life of a young teacher at the kids’ school. The shock of it rippled through the building, causing confusion and profound sadness for the staff, students and family.
  • A family member, who had many years ago beaten that nasty c-word, cancer, was informed that it was back. Aggressive and growing, the doctors are scrambling to treat it before it gets any worse.

Oh, the sorrow. Life is very hard sometimes. Sometimes, answers are hard to come by. When my kids ask me why and I don’t know myself, all I can say is, “we don’t know why, but God is in control of it all and He knows. We have to trust Him because His way is better than our way, even when it seems hard to understand.” The message is not just for the kids. It’s a bit of self-preaching.

Because when those troubles come, and they most certainly will, our response will either confirm or deny what is truly the belief of our hearts. The enemy will try and use difficult times in an attempt to chip away at our faith, tossing thoughts of disbelief and questioning our way, waiting to see if anything sticks.

My daughter has a favorite verse posted on her bedroom door. Psalm 56:3 states, “when I am afraid, I will trust in you.” There you have it. No questions asked. Not a wavering thought around. And, she states it often when faced with troubling circumstances. As I sat in the funeral for our friend after his valiant fight with cancer, I felt the tears welling up as I thought about his children, left without him for the rest of their lives. As I closed my eyes to pray, the words of my daughter’s favorite verse came to mind. I whispered them over and over and calmness came over me.

Jesus told us in John 16:33 that we would have trouble. But he offers peace amid the trouble because nothing in this world can shake the eternal destination of a believer. This world is temporary, as we are reminded every day when some new trouble comes along. But, as Jesus said, He has overcome. There is nothing that we can face that will change that truth.




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