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Posts Tagged ‘#ihaveovercometheworld’

It was Benjamin Franklin who is credited for saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

but he was wrong …

no, not wrong …

but what he said was incomplete.

john-16-33

Experiencing childhood in the 1970’s, I was subjected to the music my mother listened to. One of the songs I remember hearing frequently was sung by Lynn Anderson (and my mother), called “(I Never Promised you a) Rose Garden.”

I expect that we all love life when it is good, when it is easy, when health is good, and loved ones are loving, and there are a few bucks in our wallet, and we have simple pleasures in our days. What we forget is that those things are not certainties, not guaranteed, not promised to us.

The words of Jesus, the Christ, were spoken to his followers, as he was preparing them for their lives, after his own Earthly demise. He knew not only the trouble that was just around the corner, for himself. He also knew that there would be a life-time of trouble awaiting his followers (and all who would follow after them).

“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” (John 16:33).

Not an encouraging prophetic message, coming from the God of all hope!

But there is not only doom and gloom in this foretelling.

The verse begins with the offer of peace, a peace that goes beyond placards and marches, guns and war. He offers a peace that passes all fleshly understanding. A peace that mysteriously can happen right in the middle of trouble. It is, in a sense, our spiritual bullet vest. Oh, we will still feel the impact of the trouble, but it cannot mortally pierce our soul.

Then, the verse ends with hope.

“take heart! I have overcome the world”

What he is saying is,

I have fought the fight, I have worn the scars of your trouble, I have defeated death in the pit of hell. And he said it all before the triumphal entry, before Gethsemane, before the scourging and the cross.

He knew the troubles that would bomb our lives. But our troubles, to him, were worth the troubles that he would experience in the days to come.

Though our lives exist with the guarantee of troubles, we have the hope that he has overcome the world, and because of him, we truly can face tomorrow.

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he brings;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

 

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Whether hubby is sipping his morning brew with me, or not, I have not had my morning coffee alone in weeks.

We moved the chairs where each morning, we sit, so as to make room for the Christmas tree. This furniture rearrangement has allowed me new morning companions.

As I sit, sipping my brew, awakening to the day, my attention will be pulled to the deck outside the front patio doors. As the sky just starts to lighten, the tiniest of birds will begin their dance of the dawn. They flutter around, stopping to sip water from the deck floor.

As they dance lightly through their morning ritual, I participate in my own. I read the news, and feel the heaviness from around the world.

But, my attention has been constantly pulled from my heaviness, by the delight of my feathered friends, who are unaware, and unconsumed by the lack of peace in this world.

Just days before Christmas, I finally ‘heard’ the message in my petit little visitors daily dance, as I was listening to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

“And in despair I bowed my head:
There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men

These little birds awaken each day, with not one meal saved for the day to come. They rely on their instincts and on provision every day of their lives. Like our own lives, some days are ones of plenty, and some are days of want.

But, they dance and sing through it all, as though they know the words of 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.”

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