Am happy to report that my recovery from pneumonia is just about complete (NB: it really does take 4 to 6 weeks as the doctor said). Back into the swing of things somewhat and yep, life has its challenges alright. In my invalid seclusion, I had almost forgotten. So here's this about that.
Since Jesus has overcome the world and since He knows full well what's wrong with us and our world (if He had to overcome it, there was something wrong) and since He told us that in the world we would have tribulation (not 'might have' but 'would have') then WHAT IS THE POINT HERE? Are we just destined for trouble?
No actually, I believe we're destined to overcome trouble.
Picture a vessel battered in a stormy sea but rising up over the waves as opposed to being overturned and shipwrecked.
Without any contradiction, I will tell you that I often feel overcome by my circumstance (and the emotions they incite). But then I know, I know that my Redeemer liveth and I just wait in the dark, seeking His face for relationship, not just his hand for help and somehow, in that time, in that darkness, something invariably happens, a word spoken to my heart here, a change in the circumstance there, a scripture illuminated or a meaningful contact with a friend and my vessel, my circumstance, comes bursting out once again in the light of day.
It is in the trial my friendships are deepened. By taking a risk and sharing my burden with another, I often find a stronger bond emerging. I've come to believe that is the meaning of Proverb 17:17: ..."a brother is born for adversity."
Trials are often beyond our ability to control and some never lift. For those we have been given His Grace, which, He says, is sufficient for us. His Grace somehow helps us to carry on in the midst of the trouble. That is why to me, overcoming means not letting the problem at hand undermine my trust in God, my faith. My emotions and thoughts have often failed me but God never has and I know from His Word, He never will. I can still say that after 30 years of knowing Him.
I know when one challenge is met, another will sooner or later takes its place but that does not depress me. Why not? Well, first of all I accept the imperfection of life on earth. Secondly, I have seen how much relationships can grow through the difficulties, I count family and friends as treasures.
But even more importantly, from what I have seen, it is when the hour is darkest that the Lord's love is sweetest, His Presence is most precious and meaningful. It is written that He is acquainted* with grief and that He will never leave us. That means in every trial He is there, whether we are aware of Him or not and for Him, nothing is impossible. Knowing Him better and being changed by Him is glorious prospect enough.