When Life Gets You Down – John 16:33

AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart

We all have struggles.

Days when our boss is being a jerk.

Our parents keep asking us to do things we don’t really want to.

It’s the end of the month, and it’s going to be hard to cover all the bills.

Our favorite pet has to be put to sleep. 

One of our family members is diagnosed with a serious illness.

Our best friend lies to us, or our sibling shares a secret they were supposed to keep.

From daily woes to heartbreaking tragedy, life sometimes is just flat out hard.

I don’t know about you, but as a Christian I sometimes get frustrated with God when life seems to be low. At times in my life I’ve definitely bought into the lie that because I love God life should be easier for me. I don’t know why. I know it’s not true, but regardless, I have felt that way before.

Creatures of Comfort

I’m not sure how this lie started, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. If we look at the lives of famous heroes of the faith, like David Livingston, Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael, their lives were riddled with trials and difficulties and often times because of their choice to follow God. We hear these stories and are encouraged by their boldness and conviction in the face of hardship, but somehow still have this idea that we should be exempt from such difficulty.

Turns out, we’re not alone; the disciples needed a little coaching in this area too. In John 16, Jesus has His disciples gathered around as He shares what is to come for Him and for them. It isn’t the best sounding news, but He wraps up the discussion by saying, I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Made to be Conquerors

I absolutely love this verse! I love it because Jesus doesn’t beat around the bush (not that He typically does), but He straight up tells His disciples You WILL have trouble. We ARE going to have trouble in life. Guaranteed. So we can get it out of our heads once and for all that life as a Christian is somehow going to be or should be easier. It’s not. But, Jesus doesn’t leave us in this hopeless place, wallowing in the fact that life is going to be hard. He tells us to take heart. Cheer up. Be of good courage. Don’t lose hope. For HE has OVERCOME the world. Why does this matter? Because when we align ourselves with Him we are overcomers too! (Romans 8: 35-37) We can overcome whatever obstacle or hardship comes our way because we stand with Christ. Sometimes it’s hard to live into that strength, I know, but when we choose to embrace it what we are capable of is incredible.  

There is nothing in this world that is too much to handle when we have God. Nothing. From friends lying about us to disease diagnosis, we can take on anything with Jesus by our side. It’s not always easy, but we can do it. And it’s not only doable, but we can do it with peace, joy, and hope when we have Him.

How do we get His peace, joy, and hope? We need to have His perspective, and Jesus’ perspective is always looking beyond the temporary. This world is not our home. Whatever it throws at us is temporary. It’s difficult to keep that perspective sometimes, but it is key. Jesus has overcome this world, and we can too. Every day we choose to live for that which is eternal, when we don’t allow the woes of the world to drag us down but choose to intently focus on where our hope truly lies, we are conquerors.

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The Right Perspective Is the Key to the Right Attitude

My life is pretty amazing. Honestly, I’ve been so blessed I often don’t feel I deserve it. But, despite how amazing my life is, it isn’t perfect. This isn’t heaven yet, and I’m reminded of that every time someone disappoints me, sickness strikes, or I just grow weary. When hardship comes my way I need to be reminded to keep an eternal perspective, to realize that this too shall pass, and even if I’m dealing with a hardship ‘til the day I die, in heaven I won’t be. My eternal perspective is so critical for my own hope and peace, and for the encouragement of others. I’ve found it is in those painful places or through those painful places in my life that God often does the most work either in my heart or uses me to help someone else. When we make our hardships about us, when we get conquered by them rather than being the conqueror, we often miss out on kingdom work.

So next time a hardship comes your way, I challenge you as I challenge myself. Rather than hunker down to endure it or try everything in your power to avoid it, try to look at it with an eternal perspective. Live for eternity rather than the temporary. Take heart. Don’t lose hope. Arm yourself with eternal perspective and be a conqueror. 

Heaven is going to be so worth it all.

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