Do you ever feel alone in your trouble? Like you’re the only one in the world this stuff happens to? I know sometimes in life it feels like you’re constantly struggling to keep your head above water and just when you learn how to swim there’s another tsunami coming your way. Like sweet Lord, I just want outta the water!
Every single one of us alive today has a problem of some sort. The enemy likes to isolate you and convince you that you’re singled out in your overwhelm, but honey you’re in great company. The company of all of us who woke up to trouble today.
YOU CAN HAVE TROUBLE WITHOUT BEING TROUBLED.
Jesus warned us in John 16:33 “in this world you will have trouble.” It’s not just happening to you, it’s happening to all of us. This is life. Trouble is part of it. But you know what else is part of it? Joy unspeakable every single morning. New mercies and grace with every single sunrise. Blessings and goodness that follow us all the days of our lives.
We get to choose what we focus on. This new year coming our way is all about our 20/20 vision. Not 2019 vision, 2020. That’s perfect eyesight. That’s the ability to see clearly. In this new year we will see life as we have never seen it before. What was blurry and uncertain in the past will now make sense. Will the trials and sorrows magically disappear? No. But they will be put into perspective.
We will still have trouble, but we will not focus on the trouble. With 2020 vision, we have the ability to see God at work in the finest of details and know with certainty God is working for us, for our benefit, for our good and for his glory through us. It is with this chosen focus we learn to endure trouble without becoming troubled.
Jesus said in John 14:1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” To be troubled is to be consumed with trouble. Have you allowed your trouble to get inside of you? Are your problems now part of your identity, causing you to function from a foundation of trouble? When you’re grounded in trouble, all you see are problems. And Jesus says “hey, snap out of it … trust me here!”
Everyone’s problems are different, but we all need the same Jesus. He is Lord over my trouble today, and he can be Lord over yours too. In the midst of the storm, he is walking on the water, calming the waves and commanding the seas. While he may not make your problem go away today, he can walk right into it and shield you from the storm. The storms may be raging all around you, but he can get in your boat and keep it afloat.
Jesus, come get in my boat! This thing won’t stay afloat without you.
After Jesus warned us of trouble here on earth, he said “but take heart, I have overcome the world!” TAKE HEART … what does Jesus mean here? You’re going to have a whole crapton of trouble, but take heart, I’ve got this. Take heart is a both a call to action and an invitation. Your heart will be lured by burdens and worries, but take it back. This is an intentional effort. Hey heart, I take you back. You’re not going to play over here in the darkness of overwhelm and sadness, that’s where the enemy tempts! I’m taking my heart into the light. The light of God’s truth. I get to decide where my heart goes today … darkness or light. I’m responding to the call and taking my heart where’s God’s promises are found.
Get out of the darkness girl. Step into the light.
Why is your heart so important? Even more than your mind? Because Proverbs 4:23 reminds us “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” If your heart is troubled, everything you do will flow from a place of trouble. Actions from a troubled heart create more trouble. From a troubled heart comes a troubled mind filled with troubled thoughts that cloud everything in darkness. Has this been happening to you? Take your heart, that’s action. Respond to this call of action with intentionally taking your heart out of the darkness of your troubles and bring it into the light of God’s truths and promises.
When Jesus says “take heart”, it’s also an invitation. An invitation to find his peace. His peace that passes all understanding, meaning girl get you some peace when it makes absolutely NO SENSE to have peace. Last week as I sat with a friend after losing her daughter, she shared somehow she has peace. She was almost troubled by this peace because it seems it should be impossible to even sleep in the middle of a storm like that, yet she did. That’s because her savior was able to sleep in the middle of the storm too. Remember on the boat with the disciples and they’re all freaking out thinking they’re going to drown in the storm and they look over to find Jesus sleeping. That’s peace. Peace that doesn’t make sense. And he extends that invitation to you today.
You may be in the middle of a storm, but take heart, accept this invitation of peace. It won’t make sense to find calm in this, but here it is being offered to you by Jesus. Will you accept it?
Jesus, if you won’t calm this storm, will you calm your child?
And not to spoil the end of the story or anything, but we know how this ends. And because we know how this ends, we can have trouble without being troubled. How does it end? Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Whatever your trouble is, Jesus has already overcome it. He’s already made a way right through it. He’s already made a plan to use it for good. He’s already gone before you and conquered this trouble. So girl, don’t you be troubled. It’s already taken care of!