February 15, 2010

“In the world you will have trouble. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” Jesus as recorded in John 16:33

“I wish whenever I faced trouble, I would instantly proclaim, ‘Jesus was right!’ instead of wanting to throw up in my desk drawer.”
Jon Acuff, author of “Stuff Christians Like.”

Following Jesus isn’t going to make all of your troubles go away. This can be a hard thing to understand. Some people hope that Jesus is more magical and if they just trust him, all of their problems will be solved.

But Jesus was clear–we will have trouble. We will have trouble that is heart-wrenching and confusing and difficult. We will feel hurt and sadness and grief and embarrassment.

Some of us know this because we have been there. We have trusted God, we have followed Jesus, and we have lived with trouble that did not go away, even though we prayed that it would.

Jesus’ promise of trouble does not fill me with joy, yet when I face trouble, it is one of Jesus’ promises being fulfilled in my life. I can kick and whine and fight and complain and get angry about it, but the fact remains: being a follower of Jesus does not keep me from the problems and heartache this life on earth provides.

One day there will be no more pain, no more struggle, no more trouble:

‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
God will dwell with them;
they will be God’s people,
and God will be with them;
God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’ Revelation 21:3-4

One day, we will be with our Creator.

But probably not today. So we are called to walk together, to bear each other’s burdens, to pray, to hope, to follow despite pain and trouble. I take great comfort in knowing that Jesus has overcome the world, and I find great comfort from those who are here, walking with me.