Hope and Joy!

What is abundant life promised by Jesus to us in John 10:10? “The devil comes to steal, to kill and to destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly”. Too many times we quote only the first half of that scripture to explain away a negative event in our lives. That’s ok, that’s what happens to us and it’s truth. However, I want to explore the second half. Abundant life.

I sense at least part of the answer us found in Romans 8. We have trouble and tribulation in this life. We are joint heirs with Christ IF indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together. It’s not what you suffer, it’s how you go through it. Did you get that? No, there’s no condemnation here, this is encouragement. Faith knows to the very core that you don’t go through it alone. Faith knows that this momentary suffering will build character and perseverance. Every blow you feel gets lighter till you almost feel separated from the trouble because Jesus carries you through it. Faith stands in the hope of the glory Jesus receives from the tribulation. Faith anxiously awaits God’s hand in it. Faith doesn’t receive the evil. Faith in the magnificence of Christ, His promises and His love overrides the tribulation and the effect of it on our lives. You may pass through the fire but you will come out the other side and not smell like smoke. In other words, no hardening of your heart occurs, no lasting fear of being hurt again, no distrust of others. It’s not about you, it’s about His glory.

I’m not saying hide your pain and pretend everything is fine. I’m not saying God doesn’t feel your pain, I’m not trying to diminish your suffering in any way. On the contrary, I want to help you overcome the effect of it on your heart and to look past trouble and into the face of Jesus. The attitude of your heart makes the difference between wallowing in miserable self pity; bleeding the negative pus of unbelief and fleshly pride in your sufferings, versus the absolute knowing that God will deliver you. He delivers, He restores, He rewards, He knows, He feels, His love is everlasting. He doesn’t want you to be in pain or sick or suffering, and He will help you and He will receive glory. Therefore, you ARE free from sickness and death because He never fails. In this world you will have trouble, but rejoice! Rejoice! You are a joint heir, you are a platform for the glory of God!

When trouble comes, joy should rise up and overflow. Joy unquenchable, a fountain of living water, bubbling up and pouring out all around you. Yield to joy, cry out to the Holy Spirit to counsel you and show you how to overcome. Cry out for instructions, how to find the joy in the situation. Build yourself up in your most holy faith, read the word. Read Psalms, read the words of Jesus. Worship is the firm foundation. Begin singing the praises of God’s glory and faithfulness until you believe it without a bit of doubt. Sing till the tears of pain become tears of joy. Yes, it is for you, Yes, all the promises of God are yeah and amen for you.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. Are you “the called”? Ok then, all things are working together for good. The Holy Spirit will reveal to you how the Lord is turning what the enemy planned for evil into good. Because He who is greater is in you, you need not dread.

Hope is waiting for God’s glorious miracle and faith is knowing it’s coming.

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