02 Mar Pastors’ Update
“In this world you will have trouble.”
These were words which Jesus spoke and, at first glance, not the most encouraging.
Probably the biggest question that most people have with regard to God is why does he allow suffering? Why is there war, pain, loss, famine and sickness?
Whilst there is never going to be a conclusive answer to every question this side of eternity what we do know is this.
When God created the world it was good but human sin became an entry point for evil to become part of the human experience.
Death and destruction was never God’s plan for us which is why he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin and to claim back the world for himself.
God has not been passive or impotent with regard to suffering but when we reject Jesus, we reject his solution.
When we allow Jesus into our lives not only are we set free from the power of sin but we’re also set free from its consequences.
As we journey with Jesus we can apply everything he achieved for us on the cross to our personal lives but also to the world in which we live. Followers of Jesus have his authority and power to overcome the darkness.
Here’s the paradox.
Not all of the world is yet under the authority of Jesus which is why we may still experience difficulties in this life. But Jesus’ statement about the troubles we may have to endure was sandwiched between encouragement for such times. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace” and “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
As the world faces another ‘trouble’ in the form of coronavirus we can either go it alone or we can press into applying the overcoming power and truth of Jesus’ life to this situation.
Yes, it may outwork as a mixture of trouble and overcoming – one day Jesus will return to restore this broken world, but for now we are in between times – but we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by firmly putting our trust in Jesus.
Psalm 91 is a powerful reminder of God’s protection and provision for those who look to him and I’d encourage you speak it out over your life and to ask God to help you live in the reality its words.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
With every blessing
Andy and Jane Robb