“I have told you these things, so that in Me (a fixed place) you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33
I was given an Ipod which I used for over a year, listening to music while I cleaned houses for my job. Jordon picked it up and within 5 minutes was taking pictures, videos, and playing games on it!! I had no idea it had so much to offer. I was content to use it for what I thought was its purpose. But content no longer once I found out more! Now I wonder how much more it can do.
In the same way, I continue to ponder about the abundant life that has been given to me. How much of its untapped possibilities and unlimited opportunities to really get to know God and use the power He’s given do I miss out on? How often do I feel “stuck” because of circumstances that limit me – whether it’s personal health issues or the concerns I carry as a caregiver for Don, Mom and my children? I am amazed that the more we enter the “narrow” path God has us on, the broader and wider and longer and higher things we experience of God.
In the world – tribulation, pressure. In Him – peace.
I looked up “tribulation” in HELPS and found thlipsos means” rub together, constrict (compress), i.e. like when circumstances “rub us the wrong way” that make us feel confined (hemmed in); restricted to a “narrow” place.” But it is in THAT place, He tells me to take courage. But it’s not based on feeling courageous. It’s based on the FACT that He has overcome/subdued the world. It’s done, Cindy! Finished! Completed!
Even when I feel incomplete, Lord, undone, hemmed in?
Absolutely! There is no reason to question or shrink back. Your peace is in ME, but it is untapped (even more than the Ipod) until you enter in. It is unlimited despite your feeling limited.
As I look upon the predictions for turmoil in the world, I am thankful for the “exercise” and practice drills in overcoming with opportunities especially over the last year. Thankful for life-experienced object lessons to grow in faith, though they wouldn’t be the ones I would have chosen (couldn’t we just skip this chapter, Lord?). Thankful for the sense of community built upon the testimonies of God’s faithfulness. And thankful for the peace found in Him.