Have you discovered that the Christian life isn't always easy? You probably have. Most people find that out pretty quickly. You may not be sharing this realization with other people, but you know it’s true. But does anyone ever get good at dealing with adversity? I've been following Jesus for more than fifty years and the truth is that you and I will always be dealing with something challenging! Let's listen to a familiar passage which you likely already know, but perhaps, haven't completely thought through its implications:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:35-37)
Paul writes to the congregation in Rome that nothing can separate us from Christ's love – what great consolation! He then continues, giving us a rather unpleasant list of things that can't separate us from the love of Christ: calamity, trouble, persecution, hunger, danger, and death threats. Many of us don't face these things in our daily lives but millions of Christians around the world do, every day. Paul ends by writing, "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." Another translations says it this way: "Nevertheless, we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us." There's an old saying in the sports world, "Winners win." In other words, to be a winner you have to fight through to win. Most of us want to be more than conquerors without ever having to conquer anything—we want God to fix the contest for us! But that's not God's promise, is it? We become more than conquerors by conquering adversity with Jesus' help. I'm talking to someone today. You’re facing a very troublesome issue and just can’t see your way through it. Let me encourage you that God wants to help you. You can face it and you can overcome it with Jesus' help...and that's very Good News!