Pain, disappointment, fear, uncertainty or threats are all troubles we have become familiar with. Sometimes we ourselves go through pain and loss. At other times we have stood with those who suffer. Jesus said “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world(John 16:33).” What does it mean to take heart, especially on those days when troubles are surrounding us?
A Christian usually knows the state of his heart. We have experienced “peace that surpasses understanding down in our hearts” or “bubbling joy” or at least a sense of rightness and contentment after spending a little time in the presence of God. There are times when our faith is strong, so strong, we can walk on waters with gladness.
Then there are those seasons of seemingly no respite. Day after day, our little boat just gets tossed around by the tall waves, our hands hurting from holding on to the faith we profess, our breath has gone weak and stale, for we are worn out after declaring victory over the storm over and over again.
When the battles are long, it hurts a lot. Where is the God who parted the seas? Why did my faith not tame the sea? What do we do when it seems as though God’s plan all along was to break my heart? How can we ‘take heart’ when there is no heart left?
The Bible answers,
“In just a little while,
He who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
Cast not away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:35-37).
If you have answered God’s call in your life, if you have obeyed the will of God, if you have submitted your wit and your will to the guidance of God, chances are you have faced adversity, experienced loss and wondered why. As soon as we align ourselves with the things of God we are in a actively hostile territory. The trouble is a guarantee. But so is His presence in the fire. If there is a fire burning against you, willing to devour you, then you can be sure He will join you in the fire.