Take Heart, 08Jul
I enjoy pondering the scripture before the sermon…. I read ahead before the verses and I read further, past the verses…. and this last verse was already running thru my head for a while… And Jesus/scripture repeats it often:
From John 16
“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.”
There is nothing Jesus didn’t face himself, trials and tribulations, it was both for us to know that HE listened and obeyed our Father’s command – for our sake AND to know that we know we can do the same – FOR His sake. Our goal is to know God better… We can and will survive our trials and tribulations… We WILL face persecution for adhering to GOD’S WILL. Jesus said “take heart”… Yes, be fortified in peace as Jesus is holding your heart gently lovingly in HIS hands…
Earlier in John 16, the verse “7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” I have pondered, talked and written about the HOLY SPIRIT often, as Jesus was saying: HE HAD TO LEAVE, it was part of the plan!!!! AS much as we are angry at this world for the injustices (and even so upset at how Jesus himself was brutally crucified), God Himself didn’t simply provide a quick fix for our salvation in Jesus – He also gave us instructions of how to live – and love – and move the kingdom forward… we are Holy Spirit guided to help spread the Good News…
God seems to have ALWAYS intended US – yes US – doing the work of Jesus – after Jesus came and left – He intended for us to do work WITH the help of the HOLY SPIRIT to move and guide us… We are NOT to rest on our laurels and simply contemplate our salvation, but the Great Commission keeps us moving… SPIRIT-LED… IN GOD’S HANDS
It’s discernment we have always a need to pray for.
It’s questions of: Where do you need me Lord? Where do I fit in the mix? How can I BE your hands and feet today? How can I BE STILL to allow YOU to move me with Your WILL instead of my will? How can I still BE me and Yours too, knowing you are God?
It’s answers of: I AM in You and You are in Me. If I stay in YOUR WILL, You will have the best plans for me – whether I understand them or not…
Socrates said “all I know is that I don’t know anything”. Yes, we have trials but eventually, one day that eternal freedom in Heaven will give us eternal peace. God sent Jesus to tell us to take heart and hold on for and work for that day of freedom – knowing that we are held and guided in LOVE.
Paying attention to Faith will faithfully put us where we can witness God’s intentions for our lives. We ask where to make a difference – NOT because good works get you into Heaven, that’s not the case at all – but we ask where we can make a difference by listening to that still small voice that comes in a whisper… And “take heart” because Jesus endured much worse trials and tribulations than us and didn’t become bitter or hardened, instead HE became softer and gentler, and more focused – He was working for God His Father too – and “HE overcame the world” for all of us…
HIS PEACE, OUR PEACE, ALWAYS IN GOD’S HANDS
All of Ephesians is an encouraging read, and I suggest it….. It’s short and you can read all six chapters quickly, Paul (from prison) encouraging and praising the faith given to us…
“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”