Monday, October 27, 2014

~ "Overcoming the world..."

"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)

Jesus summed up all he had told his disciples the night of his arrest.  He tied together the themes (sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt, further persecution and the coming of the Holy Spirit).  He tells them to have courage.  He reminds them they are  not alone, nor will they ever be alone.

We are never alone either.  Jesus does not abandon us to our struggles either.  He's right beside us all the way!  Remembering that the victory has already been won, we can claim the peace of Christ our most troubling times.  He knows how hard it can be to live in an unbelieving world.  He knows the obstacles we face.  He has faced them as well.

Don't allow what goes on in the world to take you from the presence of God.  Keep the focus on prayer, not on bitterness and anger (I know, it's hard).  We cannot expect change without prayer.  We cannot pray if we are busy complaining, and all our complaining does is frustrate us!  The "Serenity Prayer" used in Alcoholics Anonymous fits perfectly in these situations:  "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."  We change what we can and pray for what we cannot, remembering that change must first come in our own heart before we can accept the heart of another as it is, without criticism, without judgement and without exception.