Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you in the dark moments of life?

In the dark moments of life, we often ask and plead why is God allowing this to happen to me? Is this love and care?

What happens to you that causes a loss of focus upon Christ? How does it make you feel that your sorrow is temporary?

In John 16:16-33, Jesus said: in just a little while, I am going to the Father; I know you are very sad, but this is actually good and for the best. You will see me again soon. The Disciples had trouble understanding this. For them, Jesus was going to His doom and all they felt was gloom; and yet, Jesus was trying to tell them this would be the greatest triumph and their greatest joy. For He would transform worldly joy to sorrow and the believer’s grief to Joy, for He is real and alive, living and working in us all! Then, Jesus used the illustration of a woman and her extreme birthing pains that turn into joy when she finally holds her baby.

The pains are temporary, but the baby becomes a dear loved one for a lifetime. Sorrow would be temporary, for they would see Jesus again. We cannot identify with them in this particular loss (Jesus leaving them), but we do experience loss of focus. Jesus is still there, but we rather place our eyes on our circumstances and woes; we become scattered from His percepts, call, and love, and we fuss over our issues until we refocus and face our Lord and see His hands of love that were there the entire time. We have a God who is here, who is there, and to whom we can go directly and commune with Him, ask of Him, know and do His will—all by Christ for Joy. Christ has overcome the world so we can have peace!

In this passage, the Disciples realized their world and all their hopes and dreams would soon fall apart, leaving them disillusioned, desperate, and depressed. They would be confused and dazed, and weep, wondering what would happen to them. However, Jesus assured them that it would be OK, and that they would see the risen Christ again. But, at this time, they were not “getting” it. The world may express joy for the suffering and death of the One True Savior and for our troubles, but, true joy will come to those of us in Christ! Then, Jesus reassured them that this would be good, along with a promise of His permanence and that this would all transform to great joy! John and his followers were experiencing the very tribulation Jesus was telling about. They were losing their places in the Synagogues, being betrayed by friends and family, losing their families and lands, losing their jobs, and any influence or inheritance by hostile, prideful Jews and God-hating Romans. The Jews did not believe one could hear God or have a personal relationship with Him as the Christians claimed, and were jealous and/or refused to be convicted. The Romans had an extreme distain for monotheism and apocalyptic cults (that Christianity was considered then by them), thus the antagonism (John 9:34; 11:50; 12:42).

If Jesus is here in our midst, then why do we tend to place our eyes on our circumstances and problems? How does this scatter us from His percepts, call, and love?

We may not understand what we are going through or understand what is God up to in all of this, but as we find ourselves in these shadows and dark places of life, we can find ourselves in His arms of love too. Like a hug in a very dark room, you can’t see the person giving you the care or love, but you can feel their presence. It is so with God; we can feel our way through by touching His Word and standing on His precepts. We have to allow our trust in Christ to work, believing that He is not smiting us, but He is working out something marvelous in us and even when we can’t see it now, knowing that one day we will. We do have hope and He will not allow anything to happen to us that is not in His will or that will be totally detrimental. There is a limit to what He will do…so we can hang in there and trust in Him!

Do you fully realize that you have a God who is here, who is there, and you can go directly to Him? How does the fact that Christ has overcome the world so we can have peace strengthen your faith and perseverance? How can you make this more so?


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