A World of Trouble

on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today's guest blogger is Jim Watkins, writer of the meditation published in The Upper Room April 10, 2012:

“In this world you will have trouble.”

One Sunday I made the mistake of teaching Jesus' words recorded in John 16:33:

"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." (NIV)

Immediately after the closing prayer, one family went out into the sub-zero weather to find that they had left the van's lights on and that their battery was dead. Another family discovered their four-year-old had gotten into their van, turned it on and backed over a parking bumper. The worship leader went home to find her husband moved out, leaving a note telling her he wanted a divorce. That night the church's hot-water heating pipes froze and the parsonage's furnace broke down. A parishoner offered to thaw out the church's pipes with a blow torch and caught the building's subflooring on fire. Then things got worse!

The next Sunday, I promised never to speak on that passage again.

Trouble seems to be life's default setting: flat tires, kidney stones, IRS audits, frozen pipes . . . the list goes on and on. So I'm assuming you and I will be facing some trouble this week. But Christ offers us peace and overcoming victory as well. That's why Paul could write:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NIV).

So I hope you're having a "but-not" week. We will have trouble, but not defeat!

--  James N. Watkins

(Author-Speaker-Threat to Society)

You can read Jim’s regular blog and subscribe to his humor column at www.jameswatkins.com


Comment by Andrea

Yes Pastor James trouble is so much a part of human existence. Yesterday I had to prepare meals for folks who I know do not really like me, but I can only attribute the success to our Lord Jesus' divine guidance and help.When tidying up I remember someone mentioning that one of the burners on the electric range was on, I thinking that it was turned off went to clean the stove top and two of my fingers went right on the hot burner, I praise God that the antidote -ice- worked and I am no worse off today- only tired.

Posted April 10, 2012 at 02:00PM CDT
Comment by Andrea

Pastor Jim I visited your website and found it awesome thanks for the insights.

Posted April 10, 2012 at 04:34PM CDT
Comment by Katherine of Cuyahoga Falls, OH

When I remember to "Count it ALL Joy" that God is with us in it ALL and can and will use every situation for His Kingdom if we surrender it; it gives "troubles" new perspective. Thank you, Pastor James, for the reminder of Paul's - Victory over it ALL in Christ; may we "Count it ALL Joy".

Posted April 14, 2012 at 07:37AM CDT