Friday, October 12, 2007

But God Is Good

Yesterday a friend and I were emailing about each other's weeks. We've both had trying weeks, dealing with hurting friends as well as some of our own hurts and struggles. My friend remarked that she didn't know why it seemed that Satan was attacking so many people right now. I replied, "Yeah, Satan's a big ol' jerk!"

In retrospect, I should have added, "But God is good."

It's so easy to focus on the negative and become discouraged at the things that are going wrong around us. I don't know why I'm surprised by troubles...after all, in the Gospel of John, Jesus clearly states that trouble is a fact of life:

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

While we should not be surprised by troubles and trials that come into our lives, we should also not focus on them, but rather on the second part of Jesus' statement, which was the joyful news that He had overcome the world and its troubles. And we are likewise overcomers.

One of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture is Romans 8. Chock-full of hope and reminders of God and Jesus working on our behalf, I have found great strength and encouragement from reading this section of Scripture. Here are just a few of the great nuggets of hope:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (v. 1)

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (v. 18)

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (v. 26b)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (v. 28)

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (v. 31b, 32)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (v. 35-39)

Having a tough day or week? You're not alone, we all do. But take heart--through Jesus, we too can overcome the world's troubles and all that Satan throws our way. Though the circumstances troubling us may not change, our outlook and hope can.

2 comments:

Jana said...

Thanks Lisa, I needed this today! =)

DJG said...

my favorite chapter!