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“A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo
Week of May 23-29, 2002: : “Another Guarantee” … John 16:33b
As part of our walk of faith, there are certain promises that Jesus Himself guarantees to us. He guarantees us joy (Philippians 4:4), peace (Philippians 4:7, John 14:27), and an abundant life (John 10:10). But in His final words to His closest disciples before going off to His suffering and death, He gives yet another guarantee: “In the world you will have tribulation.”
Tribulation: It is a big, dark, scary kind of word, isn’t it? It speaks of the suffering that will come upon this world shortly before Jesus returns. It also speaks of the suffering that we must endure throughout our lives as followers of Jesus. First, we suffer at the hands of our great enemy, Satan (1 Peter 5:8). Then, we will face much tribulation from the sinful, broken world around us. Thirdly, we face an ongoing battle within ourselves between our new nature in Christ and our old sinful flesh (Galatians 5:17, Romans 7:15-25).
Tribulation: We would rather not have to go through it, but Jesus says that we must (Luke 14:27). Yes, in our life in Him, as I once heard another pastor say, “We are not on a cruise shipwe are on a battleship.” As we grow weary from the battle, we cry out with the Apostle Paul, “Wretched man/woman that I am! Who will save me from this body of death” (Romans 7:24)? He then says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, Our Lord” (Romans 7:25)!
“In the world you will have tribulation”, Jesus says. But then, He says, “But take heart, I have overcome the world.” The very next day, Jesus would overcome the world by His suffering and death followed by His resurrection. Having set us free from sin and death, He now empowers us to get through all our tribulations (James 4:7, 1 Corinthians 10:13) which serve to perfect us in our faith (1 Peter 1:6-7). This all prepares us for another guarantee that He gives useternal life itself.
Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths
The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)
The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)
The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)
The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)
The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)
The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)
The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)
The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)
The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)
The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)
The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)
The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)
The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)