[Jesus said,] â€œI have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.â€Â Â Â John 16:33 (NLT)
There are just some things that happen in this world that have no explanation. The list is long but today I heard of a wonderful husband and father who is dying of cancer. He and his family need our prayers. Why doesn’t Charles Manson (a homicidal maniac serving multiple life sentences) get this terminal disease? I don’t know.
I encourage you to join me in John chapters 14-16 if you are wrestling with â€œtrials and sorrowsâ€ in your life or the lives of people you know. These three chapters, for me, are the â€œhigh protein shakeâ€ that never fail to pick me up and re-focus me when I am crying and questioning.
Do not be afraid or let my heart be troubled. Jesus said to put my trust in God; trust Him. I admit that I sometimes pull back from that idea. That is when I pull out my Prayer Journal and thumb through all the times that God answered my prayers and even worked in my life when I didn’t know I needed Him! My trust of God is strengthened as my relationship with Him is strengthened. A stagnant relationship is a dead one.
Remain in Jesus and He remains in me. Just as a good marriage requires 24/7 work, so does my relationship with God. I cannot just spend 1 hour a week with God and expect to know Him and His voice like I will if I spend 1 hour a day with Him. If I allow Jesus to show me how to attach myself to His vine and draw His nutrients into myself all day, every day, then I will truly be a branch of His vine. Jesus also reminds me that if I begin to feel â€œhatedâ€ or that I do not fit in this world â€“ well, don’t be surprised because He walked that path before me. The more I become like Jesus the less the lovers of this world will love me.
Jesus gave us the Comforter, the Counselor. In the most difficult times, I begin to feel like alone. I may even hear a deceiving voice in my head telling me that I am alone and that no one has ever been through what I am going through and can understand it. That’s a lie!
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.â€Â Â Â Â Â John 16:1 (HCSB)
Jesus did not have to spend 33 years here in order to atone for my sins. He could have come, died, rose and be done in moments. He chose to live as a human so that I have God-in-the-flesh to turn to in these difficult, suffering times. He watched his earthly father, Joseph, die. He knew grief. He wept at our pain (John 11:35)
God knows better than I do why things happen. I can know that this life is not my home. I know that the time apart from those I love will be but a moment compared to the eternity that we will spend with the One we love, Jesus Christ. But I hurt. Jesus heals. Let’s stay connected.
May this song bless you- â€œBetter Than Iâ€ by Joy Williams