I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Difficulties and disappointments are guaranteed to come to every life. The outcome of every situation is our choice. We can follow the path of the Overcomer, or we can choose to blaze our own way. Following Jesus will lead us to worship and the fulfilling presence of God. Going our own way will lead to greater devastation and paralyzing weariness.
The choice seems easy; who doesn’t want victory?! The reality is the path to victory demands stepping out in faith. That path demands knowing the Promises and ways of God…and walking in them even when they seem impossible. On the other hand, the weary path seems wise at first. We trust the knowledge we’ve accumulated; we rely on our natural abilities and intellect. It feels safer. It is a deception.
The passages that precede Jesus’ words above lead us toward the desire of God–intimate fellowship with Himself. Jesus explains the necessity of abiding in the vine–living in His love. We love the concept and in quiet times, our mental agreement feels adequate. But the power of the passage comes when we live it out in the dusty days of life. Living in the love of God gives strength when the people around us are unreasonable and unkind. Staying in the vine gives us nourishment when life is draining us with failures and insurmountable problems.
As Christians, we are on a mission to take the glory of God to the hurts of the world. We can’t idolize the quiet spots; they are to be enjoyed but we have work to do!
So, what do we do with those heartaches that come into our lives? First, we must remember that what we see is incomplete and in part, an illusion. We are to live the Word in the midst of the difficulties and enjoy the presence of God through intercessory prayer.
Intercession is so much more than taking God a to do list. He knows the burdens that weigh upon us. What He asks of us is to bring those burdens to Him and seek His view. God has a good purpose and plan in all things; He has the power to produce what He desires.
From the earthly perspective, our problems loom large and feel impossible. We often beg God to take them away. In those times, we are carrying loads here that He wants us to bring into His presence.
Intercessory prayer becomes worship as we see inside the Father’s heart and feel His powerful presence reassuring us. From the eternal perspective, problems relate to aweseom purposes we rejoice in when we seek His understanding.
The Truth of the Word is to be transformational–not tiresome. Just as intercessory prayer is not a ‘to do list’ for God, neither is obedience to God. Obedience is doing the will of God with a heart that trusts in His goodness in every situation. A heart that trusts in Him enjoys His presence so much, lists of sin are unnecessary–because sin separates from Him. Living Truth in the dust and difficulties of our days is not about getting everything right. It is about being transformed by the Truth of Love so we can rise victorious over every circumstance.
Weariness comes when our list of ‘do and do nots’ consumes us more than His beauty. “Love your enemy” is a burden until I see my enemy from God’s view. “Do not covet” is impossible unless I see the generosity of God who meets my every need. External measures of life tire us out; a heart resting in Him exceeds any ‘list’ and fills us with energizing life.
When we are growing weary, we are to take that as a reminder to WORSHIP!