More from my dear friend Dr. Ken Chant……..
Living Life to the Full
“While you are in this world,” said Jesus, “you will have many troubles. But cheer up! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)
Many people are bored with life, or are broken by trouble, because they get their faith working only on Sundays! But we are called to confront every new day with the dynamic of miracle-working faith, knowing that anyone who truly holds to their faith cannot ever be finally defeated.
THE ONE THING YOU CAN’T AVOID
God does not “play favourites” – in the end we all get our share of trial and trouble. How can it be otherwise, when we live in a “world” that is ruled by Satan and is utterly opposed to the church of Jesus Christ? But Christ has prayed for us (John 17:15), and has himself overcome the world.
So troubles don’t mean that you have no faith, but rather are a signal to rise up and use your faith! Never doubt that Jesus has “conquered the world” – not for himself, but for you and me!
LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST PREVAIL
“Cheer up!” said Jesus; that is, rid yourself of fear, and set yourself to trust in the goodness of God. The victory of Christ over the world will do you no good while you stay afraid. Trouble may be inevitable, but it cannot crush you unless you have first allowed fear to take mastery over you. That is why Christ said elsewhere, “Fear not . . . believe only.” You must realize that fear and faith have equal force in the human spirit; the first pulls us toward ruin, the second pulls us toward a miracle of answered prayer. You and I alone can and must choose which will prevail!
Fear is dissipated when we learn how to stand in the untroubled calm of Christ, and when we lock onto one of the many promises of God, given in scripture, to guide us, keep us, provide for us, and meet every need, day by day. You surely know the words of the familiar Lord’s Prayer, “give me today my daily bread”? That is no empty request, filled with hollow mockery. God expects you to ask him to meet your need, and he expects you to trust him to do just that!
THE VICTORY OF FAITH BEGINS WITHIN YOU
The lively Greek word used by Jesus in our text is properly translated as “cheer up” – it could also be rendered, “take heart . . . be brave . . . take courage . . . ” and the like. It occurs in 6 different settings (Matthew 9:2, 22; 14:27; Mark 10:49; our text; and Acts 23:11). If you read those passages, you will discover that the circumstances confronting each of those people seemed impossible, more conducive to despair than to laughter.
So why did Jesus make such an unreasonable demand? Rather than a seemingly heartless command to “Cheer up!” a measure of sympathy seems to be required. But he understood the principle that the miracle you need does not begin in God, but in your own spirit. So before he gave those people any promise, he gave them a command: “Cheer up!” (the verb is strongly imperative in Greek).
We discover that while true faith never minimizes a problem, it can always see that in comparison with the greatness of God, and of his promise to us in Christ, the worst of life’s tribulations are little more than a storm in a tea cup. Hence in every circumstance, we are called to be cheerful – or at least to have a heart to praise God! In the examples given above, that is just what happened. The people let faith rise, fear was driven away, and they all gained the miracle they desired.
STAND IN THE TRIUMPH OF CHRIST
How astonishing is the declaration of Christ! Think about it. Golgotha and all its horrors still lie ahead of him, yet so confident is he of victory that he asserts an existing victory: “I have conquered the world!” Before his crucifixion, before his resurrection, before his ascension back to the Father’s throne, he declares himself victorious! That was a faith-statement.
Thus Christ himself set the example that we should follow.
But how did Jesus “overcome the world”? He conquered it
- in his LIFE – resisting all temptation
- by his DEATH – yielding his life voluntarily
- by his RESURRECTION – mocking the strength of the grave
- through his ASCENSION – proving heaven’s victory over the earth.
So then, us learn how to draw every day upon the victory of Christ, allowing:
- his sound body to infuse health into your sick body
- his strong hand to take the place of your weak hand
- his brave heart to instill courage into your trembling heart
- his mighty arm to add divine strength to your feeble arm
- his pure mind to fill with beauty your wavering mind
- his irresistible faith to supplant fully your timid unbelief
- his sure promises to drive away your unworthy fears
- his everlasting life to overwhelm every terror of death
- his absolute triumph to be your victory now and for ever.
Blessing from Dr. Ken Chant until next time………..