“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,
Jesus didn’t say you might have trouble, or you will only have trouble when you’re out of God’s will – He said you WILL have trouble. Jesus is clear on the point that we will all go through trouble. If you are going through troubling times right now, I have good news for you. YOU ARE GOING THROUGH IT.
George Barna reports that over 70 million Americans today are struggling to find some meaning in life, and that over 50% of Americans struggle with some type of depression.
The peace that Jesus offers us comes only through a relationship with Him. The world can’t give us peace and it can’t take away the peace that Jesus gives. It’s a peace based on our relationship with him, not on our performance (how “good” of a Christian we are), not on our feelings, and not on our circumstances.
Sometimes though God will lead us into a storm. This is where our expectations of God and reality clash. It is here in the storm God creates the opportunity for greater growth. The strain of life is what builds our strength. The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. It actually means being delivered in adversity.
For two years, scientists sequestered themselves in an artificial environment called Biosphere 2. Inside their self-sustaining community, the Biosherians created a number of mini-environments, including a desert, rain forest, even an ocean. Nearly every weather condition could be simulated except one, wind. Over time, the effects of their windless environment became apparent. A number of acacia trees bent over and even snapped. Without the stress of wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks grew weak and could not hold up their own weight.
We all need some adversity. Think of all the things God could have prevented – sin – pain – heartache – evil, and even the devil. He didn’t. He has given everyone a choice. God has given us a choice in the midst of all the hard times… and with all the temptations we face to love Him and serve Him. That’s what makes love – love it’s a choice.
Someone once said, “Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage on and calms the child.”
Choose this week, whatever your circumstance, to be the child of God who continues to abide in the peace of the Lord.