I love to read novels. Political thrillers are my favorite. In these stories it is common for special trained agents to risk life and limb for the service of their country. These heros are constantly placed in life threatening situations to accomplish perilous assignments. As I read through their trouble, I’m tempted to peek ahead in the book to find out what happens. Sometimes I do.
If I find that all ends well, reading through the danger isn’t stressful. I can weather through it with confidence because I know the outcome will be fine.
If only I could do that with my life. When I suffer through trouble, and the future looks bleak, I would look ahead and see the trouble’s effect. Sure, the problem might have to run its course, but if I know all ends well, it will be easier to get past the discomfort.
Looking at Jesus…
Jesus dealt with trouble in a garden named Gethsemane. He knew He would be rejected and denied. He knew He would be arrested, and spat upon. He knew His body would be ripped to shreds, and He would be crucified.
And to make matters worse, when He asked to pray with His best friends, He prayed, and they slept! Talk about trouble!
Jesus became depressed…
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…” (Matthew 26:38)
And who could blame Him? He was about to experience more suffering that any human in history. He was so depressed he wanted to die. He was looking for a way out of the pain that lay ahead.
Have you ever been there? I have. Not suicidal. I just asked God to take me away from the pain, the heartbreak, or the loss. The constant pressures of living a life in the face of adversity. The “woe is me” prayer, where I ask God to just take me out of here.
But He didn’t stay there…
Jesus didn’t stay depressed. He looked ahead and saw what was beyond His pain.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus peeked ahead in His story. He saw beyond His situation and focused on the “joy that was set before him”. He looked ahead to the Resurrection and sitting “at the right hand of the throne of God”.
Looking ahead in our story…
If Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and we are to look to him, then why not look ahead in our story? Seeing past our trouble, and focus on the promised outcome.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
We are destined for a prosperous future in accordance to the destiny that God has determined. Jesus wants us to have more than just a life, but an abundant one!
“… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Our future is one of victory! It’s a life never absent of Christ’s love for us.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
We all go through trouble, it is promised. But Jesus tells us not to stress, problems will be overcome!
“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.” (John 16:33)
And so will we!