John 16:33...Jesus says "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.”
By weeks end, I will have been to three funerals in 2012.
As Chaia has made her exodus from the Chaia Clinic (I figure they can at least rename the place after her right?), I am sobered by the reality that pain and suffering are all but guarantees in this life.
You will have trouble.
WAIT A MINUTE. I thought the Jesus Package I was sold came with eternal security, God's Relentless Love and a blessing upgrade for good behavior?
I think many shake their fist at God when the trouble comes and question His goodness, His nearness, or even His existence.
"God, How could you?" (Insinuating a deep sense of entitlement that we are owed something better than a life with trouble.)
And for many, this is where our story and His story break up.
"If God is going to allow me and those I care about to suffer and hurt, then what good is He in the first place?"
But for those who see suffering as an opportunity rather than a punishment, as a blessing rather than a curse, as love rather than indifference, the Gospel becomes a thing of beauty.
Some will find hope in the midst of despair. Some will find strength from weakness. Some will find that Making Much of Him is not just some obligatory duty, but is a privilege and delight.
You will find trouble.
You can either take heart in the One who has overcome the world or you can let your circumstances, your hardship, and your suffering overcome you.
Let me say one more thing on this...if you think you can wait in your life to make much of Him when the troubles come without living a life of Making Much of Him to prepare you...good luck.
So what's it gonna be?
Make much of your suffering and pain?
Trust me, there's a better way.