Jesus said in John 16:33 "...in this world you WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world!"
Jesus does not promise to take us out of the tribulation. He does not promise us a life of ease and unending happiness. What He promises us is Himself.
When people fail us....Jesus is always faithful. (Lamentations 3:22,23)
When we are hurting to the depths of our soul...Jesus says "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11: 28)
When we feel we cannot go on....Jesus carries us. (Psalm 55:22)
When we fail Him....Jesus picks us up and gives us another chance. (Psalm 107: 28; 37: 23, 24)
When we sin.... Jesus forgives us . (I John 1:9)
When we are rejected by man....Jesus claims us as His own. ((Psalm 118 : 6)
When all seems hopeless...Jesus reminds us HE is our hope...our eternal HOPE. (Psalm 43:5)
When we are disappointed...Jesus says He will never let us down and never let us go. (Joshua 1:9)
When we feel alone and abandoned...Jesus is ALWAYS there. (Psalm 145: 18,19)
When others are too busy to care....Jesus is ALWAYS available (Psalm 121: 4)
When we hurt so badly we don't know what to pray...Jesus intercedes on our behalf. (Rom. 8:26)
When our hearts are breaking and the tears fall like rain...Jesus puts all of our tears in His bottle, promising that one day, He will wipe away every tear. (Psalm 56:8, Rev. 7:;17)
When we feel we just can't go on....Jesus promises to be our strength. (Psalm 138: 3, 27:7)
Yes, JESUS is there through it all, in the midst of it all. Even in the midst of our darkest days, if we will just look, we can see HIM through our tribulation. Our true joy comes in seeing Him THROUGH the pain, the disappointment, the sorrow, the rejection, the abandonment, the loneliness. He IS there. He is ALWAYS there.
Happiness is based on our circumstances and when the circumstances go south, happiness takes flight.
But true JOY...the JOY that only JESUS can give, comes from knowing that in the MIDST of it all....all the junk that life throws at us....all the fiery darts that Satan attacks us with....in the MIDST of all of that, JESUS is shining like the beacon of a lighthouse to a storm tossed sailor. If we will but keep our eyes on Him, we will make it safely Home. The storms may continue to rage in our life. The pain may seem unbearable at times. But, if we can learn to look PAST the storm and to the LIGHT that is JESUS' love, we can find peace in the midst of the storm.
I omitted the first part of the verse at the beginning of this blog, now I'd like to give it ALL to you....
"These things have I spoken unto you, that IN ME you might have PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Keeping our eyes on JESUS is the ONLY way to have peace in this tribulation-filled world. I pray today that you will find that peace in the midst of YOUR storm just as the author of the beloved hymn "IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL" found his.
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