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
The Easter holiday is a great reminder that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection have assured us of victory. Despite that amazing truth, I admit that I often find myself in a reactive and stressed state when dealing with work situations, health issues, family relationships and so on. To compound that, those issues seem to only become more difficult, more severe and more complicated as I get older. Put simply, the stakes get higher. Those factors make it increasingly harder for me to live a life reflecting the peace and victory that God provided to me.
So what am I to do? Each day I am faced with the choice of either relying on my own wisdom and strength or remembering to turn to the Lord. In looking back over my life, there is a clear pattern that situations always work out better when I choose the latter. For me, reliance on God consists of regularly spending time with the Lord in prayer and in studying the Bible. Amongst the benefits of those actions are (1) being filled with peace as I absorb His life-giving words and promises, and (2) receiving guidance as His will is revealed.
A function of absorbing God’s Word is that belief in Jesus does not mean trials will not come my way. On the contrary, James teaches us to persevere in the face of difficult circumstances so that our faith can become mature and complete (James 1:2-4).
Recalling verses like that in the book of James brings me encouragement and helps me to keep a healthy perspective on eternity. How are you doing in that area?
Let us exercise keeping perspective by:
- Thanking God for sending Jesus to us so that we may have eternal life because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us;
- Asking God’s help to assess whether we are living based on our own wisdom and strength or on God’s.