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Nov 15 2015

A Time for Courage

keepcalm“…be courageous…I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33b

 

In the scripture referenced above, Jesus is encouraging His disciples, and us, to be courageous, to take heart, though we will face trouble, tribulations and sorrows, He is giving us perfect peace as we rest in Him—for He has overcome the world and all of it’s sorrows and troubles.

Right now, in our church life and some of us in our personal lives, are facing trials and tribulations.  In Greek, the word “tribulation”  carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” (“hemmed in”).  In addition to the financial pressures, ministry pressures, our senior Pastor is now in a physical battle for his health. And since we are a family, we are in it with him. So this word definitely fits our current circumstances. However, we, like Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.”  So this is not a time to worry, to be frightened, to fret, be anxious or driven to despair. This is a time to fight, to trust in the Only Healer, the Only Ruler, the Only King of Glory, The Lord Strong and Might, the Lord Invincible in battle.  This is a time where we must gird up our minds (1 Peter 1:13) and be sober-minded and hope-filled.

In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 Paul exhorts us, “that our present trials and troubles are small (when looking at them with a heavenly perspective) and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! That is what God is after.  The process that continually makes us into the glorious image of His Beloved Son Jesus!

So “we don’t look at the troubles we can see now, but rather, fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we can see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”  We fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  In this process, we can rest, why? First, He tells us in advance that troubles would come—so He is not surprised—and so we shouldn’t be either. Not only that, but He tells us in Him we will always have perfect peace.  He is the Prince of Peace.  We just need to stay “in Him.” How do we do this? We stay connected to the Vine (John 15). Because apart from Him we can do nothing. He then goes on in John 16:33. to exhort us to be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy, for HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD (Amplified)!

In John 14:1, He tells us, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust God. Trust also in Me.”

In John 14:27 He tells us, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

God has spoken to this church that we are His War Horse; that He is making us into His Special Forces. Special Forces and warhorses fight! Let us have the mind of Christ in this season and be undaunted, unyielding, unstoppable!

Onward Christian soldiers!

 

God bless you!

Pastor Nancy