Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TAKE HEART


Having parents that disciplined you as a child is great. Scripture admonishes mother and father - "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." (Proverbs 13:24) However, having parents that discipline you in love would be wonderful. Somewhere in the corrective process, this next level of discipline would include a re-examination of why there was discipline in the first place. Something to the tune of the parents saying, "Chad, you know why we are taking the keys away from you for this weekend? Because......(disobedience, lied, etc...)" - would be a wonderful part of disciplining kids.

In the same kind of vein, Christ Jesus says to us every day - "Trust me, inquire of me, I have been there, done that, have the t-shirt and conquered it all for you to have the victory also!" This is my Pritchard Paraphrase of John 16:33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is not discipline per se, but it is Godly Counsel that could keep us away from Godly Discipline, especially with the wiring to do things our way involved.

Wrapped up in this verse are many take-aways, so let me begin. Jesus desires us to know that He is our source of "peace" - “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace." This is important because the next sentence does not say we might have trouble, it says "you will have trouble" - "In this world you will have trouble." Do you sometimes feel pressured into making decisions? Like you are surrounded and the choice is being forced in one direction? That is the mental picture I want to portray to you when you read the word "trouble" in this verse. The original Greek word used here for trouble is thlipsis, meaning pressure (literally or figuratively) - afflicted (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulationHowever, trouble is the one surrounded! On the otherside of trouble is overcoming or in some translations victory. When all your eggs are in Christ's basket, trouble doesn't stand a chance. You have peace going into every situation with Christ and you have the victory because He has been there.

The original Greek word for "world" in this verse is kosmos. My e-sword source defines this word as an orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]) - adorning. So, not only has Christ overcome all the systems and cycles of the universe (of nature, of man, etc...), He has also conquered all of the people and their Trappings! All the snares that can be found in every category of life, we can find victory through Christ's perfect experience of life, His sacrifice on The Cross and His Resurrection from death, Hell and the grave.

I love it when my parents have counseled with me. Instead of giving me a ton of "Do's and Don'ts" (appropriate at certain times), they encouraged me with their own testimony. They told of when they were in close to possibly the same situation and how they handled it and how they wished they had handled it. With Jesus, He handled every situation perfectly. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15) This is why we can trust Him and lean on Him. This is why we can call Him our Peace. This is why He is our Overcomer, our Victor in life. This why we should Take Heart.
  • "...for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." - 1 John 5:4-5