Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, September 11, 2017
This is devotional thought number 80 in our devotional series, “Essentials of Faith.” Our final subject is: Rejoicing in the Lord
Here’s the question for consideration: Does the fact that God gives me good gifts mean that I will never encounter difficulties?
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The Struggle is Real
Walking with Christ is no bed of roses, at times, but what lies ahead is infinitely better.
One of the things I think church leaders (like me) should be more diligent in sharing with recent converts to Christianity is the reality of the struggle. I’m not saying we should paint a discouraging picture that would cause them to run away screaming and flailing their arms. I am saying that we should be clear that trials will come as a result of joining the heavenly team, which the enemy hates, but that Jesus defeated him and they will make it if they keep the faith.
I’m sure what I just said is jarring to some because we don’t like trials. I know I don’t like trials. But think about it: Jesus was laying out the reality of the tribulations His followers would face, but He did not stop there.
He assured them of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their lives, His commitment to teaching them all truth, comforting them when they needed it, and much more. He assured them that even though the trials would come, He already overcame the devil and all his evil plottings. It’s just a matter of time before the devil and all his angels are destroyed. Everything else Jesus ever taught His disciples was true. He has a proven track record. This is also true. We all can be at peace, be of good cheer, and be patient as Jesus puts the finishing touches on our characters and eternal homes.
In closing, Paul said it this way: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18). Take courage. Your trials will soon be over. Keep the faith and you’ll receive a crown of life.