I’m not sure why I’m always surprised when I hear of tragic or volatile things that happen in the world or down the street or in my life. The Bible is full of secrets to this life and deep waters. And I forget that. Sometimes I still feel like I did when I believed that false belief that says if you don’t read the Bible then God won’t like it and you’ll feel guilty. Just because I have a theological degree doesn’t mean I understand everything or don’t fall into old patterns. Do you know your pastors and youth pastors and small group leaders are human? Do you know they’re broken? They doubt and question and fear, I promise you.
And I think that should bring you hope.
God wants us to take Him seriously when He says that trouble will come, but to take heart, because He has overcome the world. Do you get that? Those three pieces.
It's on it's way, but hold fast, because I've already conquered this.
When people ask me why God lets horrible things happen, I wish I could remember to talk with them about this verse. Scripture, the inherent Word of God, one of the few things I’d stake my life on, comes out freely and openly and says things are going to get really, really difficult. Not that it might or could. That it will. It’s on its way. And no one is exempt. Not pastors or rock stars or you or me.
And I don’t think God means trouble like you’ll get a flat tire or the store will be out of marshmallows on your way to a bon fire. I think He means suffering. Serious, life-shaking, up all night and I’m ready to renounce my faith because this is so incredibly horrible and exhausting and confusing, suffering. I bet you have cried over this trouble. And if you haven’t, I’m sure you will. You want to know why I think that? Not because my glass is half empty. I say this because the Bible tells us straight that storms are brewing and that we are one phone call away from it.
But Jesus also says to take heart. That He has overcome.
Jesus wants us to take Him seriously when He says that He has overcome the world. I’ll confess, I just used the synonyms tab for the word ‘overcome’. Here’s what came up: affected, blown-away, bowled over, defeated, conquered, overthrown, swept off ones feet. My favorite synonym that came up is ‘visibly moved’.
God has visibly moved the world.
And He has, hasn’t He?