Faith Column: Keep true during struggle
Life is difficult. Intentionally so, I believe.
Of all the promises we have in Christ, there is one that is rarely mentioned, seldom committed to memory and never preached on: In this life you will have problems.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33
We love the parts about experiencing peace and vicariously overcoming the world through Jesus, but we tend to forget that the need for peace and overcoming in life flows from the reality of the trouble we experience in this life.
We live in a country where race relations are more than strained than they have been in 50 years; people are murdering others because someone else was murdered. No one can honestly be excited about the slate of US presidential candidates — there is no “hero” proposed and everyone knows that — we will be electing the lesser of so many other evils.
Some communities in our nation support protecting a woman’s right to her own body even when another life, or at least a potential life, is involved and yet want to restrict the amount of corn syrup sludge people should be allowed to put in their own bodies.
Our community is overwhelmed with problems everywhere we turn. We have near crisis level budget issues and leadership turnover in our county, city, school and hospital districts. Test scores are down…again. Our primary industries’ days are numbered. Drug and alcohol use continue to fuel our standing above the national average in almost all social problem categories.
Fortunately, we live in a state that has legalized marijuana and allows individuals to use the toilet and locker room of their choice regardless of their anatomical reality.
Twenty years or so ago Randy Stonehill wrote a song titled “Great Big Stupid World.” I think it’s time for him to add a few new verses; there is certainly plenty of ammunition to do so.
Lest you think I am completely fatalistic, let me share my optimism.
There is no shortage of good individuals and organizations meeting, planning and working toward making things better. Most teachers, health care professionals, city and county employees, as well as leaders of all these entities genuinely want to work hard for the change we need. We care and we are not in denial, things can change.
The key to experiencing the peace and the victory in the face of the reality of life’s tribulation I mentioned earlier, is found in Christ. Jesus said “IN ME” you may have peace and “I” have overcome the world.
Economic development, hiring and electing the right people and all the plans and strategies for bettering our community — even if they are implemented will have no true lasting affect for our lives if we are not ultimately submitted to and committed to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the author of life, now and forever.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that (you) may have life, and have it abundantly.” — John 10:10
Len Browning, The Journey at First Baptist
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