The Blue Highway and the Promises of God
Thursday, January 24, 2013
John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart I have overcome the world.”
Bluegrass band Blue Highway begins one of their songs with a high tenor, “Troubles up and down the road and trials all the way around……” Those are true words aren’t they? We live in a world of trouble, and as we live we experience troubles of our own. We can turn on the news and be reminded everyday of the troubles of the world, many of them we just shake our head at. We are genuinely moved by the sadness and the difficulties that people have to endure. Hopefully in those times we stop and pray for those affected.
But then sometimes trouble comes home doesn’t it? It invades our lives and we hurt from it. We hurt physically, we hurt mentally, we hurt emotionally and hopefully we cry out for help. Hopefully we are transparent enough to ask others to pray for us, and even more than that hopefully we cry out to God for His help.
Sometimes the difficulties are so dark that we even hurt spiritually. Maybe its then that we ask the question, “why?” Maybe we don’t voice it loudly but we whisper it, or we think it, or we silently wonder. Why is this happening to me or to my family or to someone I love?
The answer is found in Jesus’ words, “in this world you will have tribulation (other translations say trouble).” He promises that and the reason for it can be found all the way back in the book of Genesis and we get a glimpse of it in Romans 8. There are troubles in this world because of sin. These are the consequences of the fall of humanity into sin in Genesis 3. Because of that there is trouble in the world, and sometimes that trouble finds its way to people that we know, to people that we love, and even to us. “Troubles up and down the road…..” They happen because of sin. Not necessarily as punishment for our sins, but now because of the collective sin of humanity throughout history troubles have become a part of life.
In many cases they have become a big part of life. I hear about this on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis. Sickness, cancer, other things doctors can’t even diagnosis, relationship problems, divorce, financial problems, job loss, children who are sick, and the list goes on and on. “Troubles up and down the road and trials all the way around.”
That is life in this world. It started in Genesis 3 and Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 that it continues today. Fortunately however Jesus doesn’t stop when He says there will be troubles. He doesn’t leave us hopeless, in fact He never does. He does on to tell us, “but take heart I have overcome the world.” Through His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection, Jesus has set up a kingdom, a kingdom in which troubles will be destroyed.
He is victorious over death, over hell, over the grave, even over sin, and one day He will return triumphant. And then the troubles will be gone. No wonder Paul tells Christians who are being persecuted, “set your minds on heavenly things.” In other words think about the promises of God.
He promises trouble, but He also promises that He is returning. That one day there will be “a new heaven and a new earth.” That one day there will be a place with no weeping, no crying, no mourning, no pain. In other words a place where troubles are no more. John says in Revelation, “and behold I saw the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven and now the dwelling of God is among men.” And Jesus says, “in His presence there is fullness of joy.” For their to be fullness of joy, troubles and pain and death and sin has to be gone. It will be! One day it will be. How do I know? Because He promised that it will be, and God always keeps His promises, even our troubles remind us of that.