Of Jesus’ many guarantees, there is one I never like to be reminded of:
John 16:33 – In this world you WILL have trouble.
You only have to be alive for about 3.2 seconds before you realize the truth to this blunt statement. I wish He would have said “you might have trouble,” or “you will have trouble if you are a really horrible person.” But no, He does not. This is a one size fits all promise. No matter who you are, how much money you have, how much you pray, how much faith you have, you WILL have trouble.
Thankfully, He does not end the thought with that depressing statement.
John 16:33 – In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I had the extreme privilege of spending several hours last week with a woman who has fully owned and received this promise from our Savior.
Lori found a lump on her breast 3 years ago as she was nursing her second child. After several false diagnoses, a biopsy revealed an extremely rare form of cancer that was in stage 4. The thought of hearing those words given to me by a doctor is, honestly, beyond my ability to comprehend. At the time, Lori had two young children, a flourishing career as a physician and a husband who adored her.
Three years later the cancer has spread throughout her entire body. She has traveled the country visiting the world’s most prominent doctors, lost her hair, gone through every treatment known to man and has basically been given just months to live.
As she shared her medical story with us, I just kept thinking: “How in the world is this woman even here right now? How could she possibly have the physical and emotional strength to recap with a group of complete strangers all that she has been through?”
After her medical story, she got to talking about her sweet children. What it has been like to come to the realization that she may not be here to watch them grow up. She shared how she has written birthday cards for each of their birthdays for years to come, bought them gifts for their wedding days that are to be given to them from her.
Can you imagine?
And would you believe in all of that she did not shed a tear? Not one tear. I’ve never seen such strength and peace.
Only when she began talking about her Jesus did the tears come. It was as if they were reserved for Him. This God who had held her hand so tightly these last three years. This God who she knew more intimately now than ever before. This God whom she trusted completely and unreservedly.
When Chad read Revelation 21: 4 this weekend, I immediately thought of Lori. How she must feel reading these words and how she has embraced this promise as her life’s song.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Yes, we can count on the trouble. We can count on the fact that life will NOT go according to our plan. We can count on it being MORE than we can bear.
I loved how Chad summed this up on Sunday:
In this life:
-SYSTEMS will be shaken, but in God’s power we will remain STABLE.
-RELATIONSHIPS will be shaken, but in God’s presence we will remain SECURE.
-HOPES will be shaken, but in God’s promises we will remain CONFIDENT.
Here’s a pic of Lori with my sweet Wednesday Morning group. What a gift she gave us all.