Be Of Good Cheer

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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As we look at events taking place in our world, it seems despite Jesus victorious proclamation, it is the enemy that is overcoming and advancing his kingdom. But this is not a pie in the sky, when we all get to heaven, in the sweet by and by statement.

Jesus did not say sometime in the future, maybe somehow, someway, someday I will overcome the world…No it was a right here right now, for all time promise, first to the twelve and to all who would follow(John 17:20).

I have subdued, conquered, prevailed to get the victory  “I have overcome the world”.*

So how do we balance what we see going on in our world where right is wrong, wrong is right, and evil rather than good seems to win?  I think part of the answer is that trouble or tribulation (an interesting word) is not a unplanned, unforeseen circumstance. At least in God’s plan. Because He precedes His proclamation of victory with these words

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace”

During World War II the Allied forces formulated their battle plans on the belief that victory was possible. Even though they faced an enemy who seemed unstoppable. Victory was not certain because many things could go wrong and in some cases did to frustrate their efforts. What if God had appeared to them and said “Victory is certain,  you can’t see it now, but I have already defeated your enemies. Just believe what I am saying and victory without a doubt is yours.”

Would that have changed how they viewed the war, their plan to win?I think it would. There is a difference between possible and certain. This is what Jesus has promised. Unquestionable, definite, certain victory! 

“In me, in my plan you can have peace because the enemy you see who appears to be winning, is already defeated. I have overcome subdued, prevailed in victory over a corrupt world system  led by an enemy who was openly put to shame and defeated at the cross (Colossians 2:15)

I thought of this as I read a commentary by John Stonestreet concerning the Supreme Court decision on the Texas abortion law, and a case involving  Washington state pharmacists who did not want to offer abortifacients.. In it John asks “Are you discouraged”? Yesterday, we talked about the Supreme Court’s supremely disappointing ruling against a common-sense Texas law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and abortion mills to meet the same safety standards as other medical facilities. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled the law unduly burdened a woman’s right to an abortion. It’s just another indication that, at the end of the day, our culture is committed to sexual autonomy above anything and everything else—even the health and safety of women.

Then yesterday, we learned the Supremes had left a Washington state couple, and their right not to violate their consciences as pharmacists, out to dry. Now pharmacists in Washington state must offer abortifacients, or go out of business. For pro-lifers, these rulings can feel like a gut-punch. But let’s be clear, these decisions are by no means the end of the pro-life movement. A year ago, the Obergefell decision-making so-called same-sex “marriage” the law of the land, felt like a gut punch too.  And on July 4 last year, I woke up to an email from a friend in New Zealand. He wrote this:

“Dear John, I’m celebrating American rebellion by saying extra prayers for your country, after I have prayed . . . for my own. I know from our experience here, where the gay marriage debate was lost… how discouraging the whole thing can look. The last twitchings of flabby liberalism are full of rage, but thank God, after death comes resurrection. I’m convinced we are on the cusp of something beautiful, brave, new, old and great. It’ll be deep, and it’ll be good. ‘God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life; and what had been prepared by God began to take effect. As a result, all things were thrown into ferment, because the abolition of death was being carried out . . Unfortunately, we only get past the ferment by being brave now, and not running away when Ruth Bader Ginsburg roars. But isn’t that what lives, fortunes and sacred honor are for, in the end—to be pledged to Something Big?” I needed that email a year ago, and was reminded of it again yesterday. Christian, we are pledged to something big. Which is why Chuck Colson always urged us to remain at our posts, no matter how dark things get. The culture of death will not win. Christ has risen. Monday’s terrible Supreme Court decision cannot and will not stop the incredible work of pregnancy care centers, pro-life apologists, and all the everyday champions of life.

So be of good cheer. He has overcome the world.**

 

As I read these words by Mr. Stonestreet I wept. I wept for the suffering of those in the Middle East, I wept for lives that have been sold a lie that will trap them in a lifestyle that will destroy them, I wept for the little ones who are sacrificed on the altar of money and pleasure. But I also wept tears of  joy because Mr. Stonestreet is right.

Nothing will stop the victory that is already won.

The night is almost over, and the day is coming

And we can be of good cheer.

He has overcome the world!

  

*A fitting triumphant end to the farewell discourse Jesus begins in John 13:31.

** Commentary byJohn Stonestreet breakpoint.org

 

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About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, Christian Teens Blog JF, Christian Teens Blogs - He is my Peace, Christian Teens Blogs - He is my Peace, Light and Refuge, SETTLED IN HEAVEN, TAPESTRY TREASURES and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Be Of Good Cheer

  1. ptl2010 says:

    God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
    He is our God. We believe Him not man.

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