A World of Trouble
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