“In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus’ words are recorded in the sixteenth chapter of the book of John. He says that we will have trouble in this fallen world. No kidding. At the fairly young age of 37, I can attest to that. But by filling in the words to the rest of the verse, that is where I find my comfort.
“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
I was raised in a Christian home by loving parents. I loved attending youth group, learning praise songs, reading and highlighting in my bible, and writing in my journal. I was baptized at a local Christian camp at the age of thirteen. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know and love Jesus. However, as most of us do, I strayed around college age.
In John 15:1-6, Jesus gives us the analogy of the fruit and the vine. He describes himself as the vine and we are the branches. As branches, He is our life-source, and if we remain (or abide) in Him and in His love, we will bear much fruit (spiritual growth for ourselves and helping others do the same). If we do not look to Him as our life-source, we will dry up and wither away or be pruned. Abiding in Christ is the only way to have hope and to walk through the trials that we will all experience.
So far in my life, I have faced numerous trials. Some that I created on my own, and some that were out of my control. Divorce, near financial ruin, miscarriage, adultery, tragic deaths, cancer, and addiction. During these dark times, I would still pray, but it was out of despair. It wasn’t because I was making God my priority or because I wanted an authentic relationship with him. I would pray for him to help me escape a debt collector or my landlord, and that He would create a way for me to pay them what I owed. I would ask him to change my husband’s heart, because I didn’t see anything wrong with myself or my actions. I would beg him to give me a child of my own, even though I knew that the life I was living was in no way fit for a child. I rarely read my bible and even more rarely attended church. I worked all the time and was miserable at my job. All I could do was feel sorry for myself. For what I didn’t have. I was totally disconnected from the vine, from my life-source.
The darkness began to take over my marriage, and through the help of my family and friends, who not only gave me encouragement and spoke words of wisdom but also prayed fervently, I opened up the line of communication to my Savior. I began spending time with Him. Reading His word. Praying on my hands and knees. My outlook totally changed. And even though there were still existing struggles as well as new ones coming down the pipeline, abiding in Christ saved my spiritual life. And the abiding of myself and others saved my husband’s literal life.
I would love to tell you more about it in person at Just Women Night on Friday, February 5. The event is free, but a reservation is required. Submit your registration today!
Posted on Fri, January 15, 2016
by Grace Fellowship Church