The circumstances and experiences we face in our lives here and now have a story to tell. No doubt about that! The story may be joy-filled or pain-wracked or both at different junctures. Sometimes it seems the only constant in life is change. We are up one day and down the next. If we are paying attention, we come to realize that the things we often count on for our security and fulfillment are not dependable. Ultimately, we cannot count on health, talent, finances, friends, popularity, governments, intellect or “luck.” We have only to look around us and see that life is not fair. And many of the hard questions with which life may front us, are unanswerable. But though all of this is true, there’s another Story that, to people of Bible faith, speaks far better truths…hope-inspiring truths…life-sustaining truths…peace-giving truths.
To His disciples, our Lord, on the eve of His betrayal (John 16), spoke some very stern truths about what was ahead for them…truths having to do with hardship, suffering and, even, death. He explained that He hadn’t previously told them in detail about such things because He was with them. But now He was going away. And He wanted them to be prepared. In this world, He told them, you will have trouble. And Jesus did not minimize this trouble. It may be very serious, even brutal and unrelenting. And it doesn’t proceed along predictable lines. It may come quickly, repeatedly and without any warning. The pressure may force a demand to know “Why?” from our lips that will go maddeningly unheeded. But Jesus told His beloved disciples (and us) that in Him they would have peace (John 16:33). The thing they would most need at such times was not an answer, but a Presence…His Presence. In and through Jesus they could “take heart” because He overcame in this life. And His victory was their victory!
But this they could only know and claim by faith. Pain is a fact, but there is a greater Fact! Disappointment and failure are facts, but Jesus is greater than those enemies! Loneliness, heartache, temptation, sin and death are facts. They are powerful facts! They cut and wound us. They make us cry and bleed! They cause us to question. But our Lord met all these enemies and buried them by means of the old rugged cross and the empty tomb. Feed your faith on this greatest of all truths. And when your earthly senses are immersed in the fierce trials of life…when your emotions are overwhelmed…when your strength is waning…when everything you can see tends toward despair…and you are not sure that you are capable of even one more step…then, lift up your eyes (the eyes of faith) and understand that your redemption is ahead. Even if it seems so far away, remember that it is certain. God’s word doesn’t fail. He will never forsake one of His own.
This article is from reprinted Doug Oakes, Sr.. Please see original for comments.