While You’re Here…

“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.

I can’t think of a better way to speak to our expectations in Christ than what He said.  Someone might go “duh?!” but it’s not like most people get it.  If a person claims to believe in the gospel and accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, how can they not have a changed perspective about the world or adjust their understanding of the contention between good and evil?

Jesus wanted us to have peace in Him which says to me the only place we will find peace is in Him.  Look at the way Jesus (via John) phrases this simple truth:  “…so that in me you may have peace” then “In this world you will have trouble.” The contrast couldn’t be more pronounced or the answer to all our angst so evident than in this.  The world is gonna give us trouble even if we are part of it,  Jesus is the only one who will give us peace.

In a short paragraph Jesus reveals His “secret” to peace:  He’s overcome the world.  This might not seem revelatory to some—or even most—but it should stop us in our tracks when we struggle with loneliness, feeling outcast or outside, loss, belittled, scared, resentful, and host of other emotions growing out of the world expressing its nature.

What did Peter say?  Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12.  How many times do we go through things and feel resentful as if something out of the ordinary were happening to us?  Constantly, if we’re honest.  We have unrealistic expectations as believers and feel we shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff.

Why do I harp on this subject?

The body of Christ is being led down a path of numbing financial, social and spiritual “security” for the sake of shaking them when the storm hits.  Those not prepared for the trial ahead will be shaken down and flushed out of the faith because they didn’t put their roots down in the only thing that mattered—Jesus.  A gospel that teaches earthly security as evidence of God’s favor has missed this text completely.  If we experience economic and other blessings, we should count ourselves fortunate because this is not the norm for believers in most other places in the world.

I come back to this truth constantly as a reminder that when I feel deserted and alone, it’s for the purpose of shaking me down and flushing me out.  The enemy’s primary method is to make the message of Christ an empty promise of peace.  And why does it appear in this light to so many “believers” in the church?  Because they have been fed bad spiritual food and given visions of a world that never existed in the NT message.  Those who depend on their circumstances to reassure them of God’s presence are setting themselves up or are being set up for a great disappointment, and once the disappointment sets in, bitterness and rejection can’t help but be close behind.

We can’t allow ourselves to be deceived by the American dream, folks.  It leads us into a sense of false security and wholly godless expectations.  The only security there is for the follower of Jesus is in Him.  He is our peace, security and sense of well-being.  Nothing else and no one else promises this kind of contentment—that which remains through suffering.

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2 Responses to “While You’re Here…”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    I have to agree. As the economy worsens I hear many Christians who seemed steady in their faith question where God is. God hasn’t left but it becomes clear what we really held confidence in at these times.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    Yeah, Jesus said there would come a time of shaking. All through history there have been various times where the times got hard and those who seemed so secure in their faith fell away. They love God when He helps them keep their house but the moment the situation changes they are Job’s wife, curse God and die.

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