Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tough Times Will Come

It seems we have casually thrown around the message, "Winter is coming", for a month or so now, mostly in jest as this autumn has been among the warmest I can recall. However, tomorrow we may get what we deserve for mocking the season! Much colder predicted for tomorrow and no return to the 70's is in the forecast. The start of winter will come at last. Though a high in the 40's in November is not that bad around here; we have been spoiled with a fall of good weather. For the Christian, we might say in a similar way, "Tough times will come."

Jesus said it in His way of course, "In the world you will have tribulation." Like one or two others, I wanted the Christian road that was smooth and easy; you know the one, the one where God takes away all illness, aches, pains, trials, and even the little bumps in the road. I think I can safely say that not one who believed or believes in Jesus ever got a life like that. Whether it was emotional, financial, spiritual or physical, the persecution, trials, and tribulations arrived and knocked us about the head and body. We as a body have suffered setbacks, sickness, death, sorrow, stress, poverty, plenty, and anything else one might imagine. And then Jesus said, "but be of good cheer."

What? We have to be cheerful about suffering these tribulations? No, it wasn't a rule to make us smile those fake smiles while in terrible pain. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The cheer we know is that all the tough times have a purpose. Faith does not grow and flourish in a field of ease and luxury. Faith grows when times are tough, and those times will come. But be of good cheer, our Lord Jesus has overcome this world!

One of my favorite verses, I may have written on it once or twice before this. :-) Bucky

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