Thankful Thursday

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33b (NIV)

Today, I am thankful for this verse. I read it over and over and over, and repeat it to myself often.

I think we often forget that one of God’s promises is that we will have trouble while we live on Earth. We wonder why, and demand answers from God, when it’s already spelled out clearly why bad things happen. Why we have struggles and trials and temptations and suffering and pain.

Most of the time, these things happen because we live in a fallen world that is under the temporary rule of an enemy. Sometimes, these things are a direct result of our own sinful decisions and attitudes. Sometimes, these things come at the hands of other sinners. Other times, God allows them or even afflicts us for reasons quite individual to each of our lives. (I won’t get into specifics, because I am not God…)

Yet – we can take heart. “Courage, dear heart,” he whispers to us–like Aslan to Lucy–as he walks with us, leads us, carries us through the mire of the dark valleys. Some valleys much darker and steeper and scarier than others. None of them so dark that His Light can’t reach, though.

“Take heart,” he says. “I’ve got this.” There is an end result that will make all of this worth it. Just like giving birth. Labor can be long, arduous, painful, and even frightening at times (depending on a lot of different factors), but we always seem to be willing to pay the price in order to be called Mother.

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” ~John 16:21 (NIV)

Are we willing to pay the price to be called by something much more meaningful than that? To forget our anguish because of our joy? We each have a new name, known only to God, that he is prepared to give us at the moment of our new birth into our new bodies, in the coming New Earth. He is ready to call us by our True Name.

Take heart. He has overcome the world! There is victory at the end of all things for those who are in Christ Jesus.

We just have to endure for now. And take heart. Lean on Christ in faith. He is ready to carry you.

Our host for this month is Iris at Grace Alone. I’ve noticed that the same Thankful post has been up for a few weeks at her blog. Please say a prayer for her, as I have no idea what might keep her from writing lately. Thanks!

What are you thankful for today?

Grace & Peace,