With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it’s easy to sink into despair. The 24-hour news cycle is filled with dire warnings from across the globe. Social media is inundated with worst-case scenarios on one end of the spectrum and bitter defiance on the other. Fear, hoarding and disrespect seem abundant.
As Christians, we tend to have more of an eternal view. However, even we get trapped in the hysteria and lose sight of the fact that God is still in control. We substitute the truth of God’s Word with the last piece of bad news we found on the internet. We accept the prison of hopelessness the world provides, while forfeiting the comfort and peace that Jesus freely gives to those who trust in Him.
My friends, in this world you can expect hardships, but also – much more importantly – victory!
Think about your own life. It isn’t always clean and neat, is it? While many of us would tell the story of our lives in a linear pattern, the reality is that our experiences are more like an overwhelming number of intersecting lines. The up’s and down’s. The challenges and successes. The blessings and the struggles.
We get bogged down in something that seemed insurmountably painful at the time, but then move on with life once that situation drifts into the past. We often remember the hard times, while forgetting the way that God worked in the midst of the difficulties to carry us through them.
The Bible, however, tells us to expect challenges, and to grow in them. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, NKJV). In the midst of a trying time, God is working and developing your faith and character for His glory.
Many of you were already dealing with very difficult storms in your lives, even before the coronavirus pandemic became our current reality. For instance, I was just in Tennessee with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team following the recent tornadoes, ministering to people who lost family members and neighbours, homes and possessions to the disaster. They’re trying to start over from scratch, building their life anew in the shadow of the virus.
Life is hard, and the pain we endure is very real. However, as we cling to the promises of Christ in the midst of the suffering, understanding “that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV), we have no reason to retreat. Instead of despair, we claim victory in Him who saved us!
This victory is not a momentary success, dependent upon the daily ebb and flow of life. It’s not tied to COVID-19, or to a lost job, or even to the death of a loved one. In a temporary world, the victory we have is eternal and unchanging. As Jesus said, “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:22, NKJV). It’s the hope of Jesus in us!
My friends, if you are reading this and don’t have that hope – if you can’t claim victory in Christ because you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus as your Saviour – now is the perfect time. I urge you to visit PeaceWithGod.net to learn more about how you, too, can find His truth, peace and hope.
And for all of you, wherever you find yourself today, pray for each other, delve into the Word of God and look to the Lord with hopeful anticipation as you experience His victory in your life. In a dark world, we need to shine the light of Christ more than ever.
May God richly bless you,