1 Thessalonians 3:4 Walking Into Trouble

 

Dark path in woods

In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 1 Thessalonians 3:4

Trouble is something that most people attempt to avoid as much as possible. Very few people like to walk into trouble.

When a person is driving down the road and they see a notice that there is a major accident ahead, he will often try to take a different route to keep from being slowed down or stopped. When a person is walking down a  street and see two other people arguing loudly, he will usually, quickly walk by or take a different route to stay away from the trouble.

The change of route will occur even more, if a person knows that there is someone upset with him. People will avoid those who are upset with them. Very few people like confrontation with a person who does not like them.

Paul did not change his route or back down from a negative confrontation. He was not looking at just someone being upset with him, but that there would be persecution ahead. There would be people ahead in his path that would physically strive to harm him. They would beat him and put him in jail.

Most people would turn and run the other direction, yet, Paul did not. He followed what God wanted him to do, be a witness to the people at all costs.

True believers will have to go through some persecution, sooner or later. The world hates believers and will do whatever it takes to remove them. Yet, the believer must move forward, knowing that trouble and persecution is coming. He must not back down from the path God has him on.

The value of walking into trouble and persecution is that God’s word will move forward and touch lives. The person who stands strong and true for God will be a living example of the light and love of Jesus to this dark world.

Are you avoiding talking about Jesus because you do not want to be persecuted? Are you avoiding trouble at all costs?

Or are you willing to be a witness of Jesus to those around you, regardless of what happens?

Jesus was persecuted and He promised His followers will be persecuted. Do not run from it, but keep walking forward, knowing God is in control. God can use that persecution to spread His word.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be His witness to this world; that you will not fear the trouble the world will give; and that God will strengthen you in times of trouble and persecution to be His witness. 

 

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John 16:33 How To Find Peace

Man Worships God

“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

Jesus is giving His last minute warnings about what is about to happen to the disciples. He lets them know that He is about to leave for a time and that there will be much trouble in the world. Jesus lets them know that He told them these things so that they could have His peace because He has already overcome the world.

It is very easy to see that there is trouble in this world. Turn on any news channel and one will see very little outside of troubles. Very few people are not have troubles in their own personal lives. Trouble with jobs, relationships, addictions, bills, marriages, families, and the list of troubles never seem to stop. There does not seem to be any peace.

Then the believers look at the world and see even more trouble. Refusal to believe in Jesus, promotion of more sin than ever before, persecution of Christians on the rise and, again, the list goes on. There does not seem to be any peace to be found.

Many believers are worried about finding peace in this world. Yet, Jesus said He told believers things so that they would have peace. He had already stated that there would be trouble, but they could still have peace. That peace is found in Him. He has already overcome the world.

If Jesus has overcome this world, there is nothing to worry about with all the troubles that one may have to see or go through.

Believers are to be excited, because Jesus has overcome the world. He said, “Take heart!” He told you what was going to happen before it did. He also stated that He had overcome the world. If one statement is proving true, the other one will be true also. This can give you peace.

The peace is not that everything appears to be going perfectly in this world, but that everything is happening under God’s control, just as He said it would. If all these things are happening as He said it would, that also means Jesus will return as He said He would.

As a believer you have an eternity to look forward to in heaven with God. Take heart and be at peace!

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will believe the words of Jesus; and that you will know the peace Jesus gives to you.

John 14:27 Unusual Peace

Calm Lake

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

As Jesus is giving His last words to the disciples, before being taken captive and crucified, He tells them that He wants to give them peace. This is a different type of peace and so the disciples are not to be afraid.

Talk of peace is something that is common around the world. Very few people are really against having peace. Many countries are talking about wanting peace, sometimes in their own country, other times between two other nations. Peace treaties are discussed among nations all the time. Yet, true peace is never found.

The majority of the people in this world see peace as just the absence of conflict or trouble. The look at a calm lake with no ripples in it and think of peace. While this is true to a point, that is not the peace that Jesus was giving the disciples.

Jesus gave a peace that an individual can experience between himself and God. In that peace it can be one of no conflict or struggles.

God’s peace is unusual. He never promised that there would be no other conflicts or struggles. In fact, Jesus promised that a believer will have trouble in this world. He said that believers would be hated and persecuted. To the normal mind, this is not peace, but trouble and fear.

The peace that Jesus gave was that God is with the believer and that no matter what happens, God is still in control and will win in the end. The believer can have peace knowing that in the end he will win because he is in Christ Jesus and God is on his side. That brings a peace that the world cannot understand.

As you are going through struggles and troubles in this world or are seeing the conflicts in this world, look to God. Seek His peace. Rest in His promises that He would keep you, guide you and be with you always. Know that God will win in the end and you will win with Him.

Knowing these things will bring an unusual peace, despite the troubles this world can show or cause. Do not be anxious or worried in fear. Accept God’s peace.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that you will trust God is in control; that you will allow God to guide you in this life; and that you will be ready for when Jesus returns.

 

Psalm 38:18 Troubled By Sin

I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Psalm 38:18

No matter where a person looks, that person will see sin. Sinful practices are an epidemic in this world, regardless of where one lives. Sin can be seen in the huge cities, and in the small little country village of a population of 60, including the cats and dogs. Sin is everywhere.

It is easy for believers to be troubled by the sin that they see around them. Many believers take a stand against sinful practices. People try to get the laws to change to stop various sinful acts from occurring, such as abortion, drugs, pornography, and many other things.

This even occurs in the church. Churches split or people leave a church because of some action or belief that they believe is wrong in the church. Arguments occur all the time in church board meetings about what is right and what is wrong.

Although all of these things may be legitimate sins and give proper reason to be troubled by them, they are not the most important sins to be concerned about. It is easy to point fingers at others and their sin, but it is more important to look at one’s own self.

David was troubled by his own sin. He was confess what he had done wrong and was not pointing out the sins of others.

You must take an honest look at your own life. Take a look at how you are living your life. If you look at your life closely, you will see that there is some sin, somewhere in your life. Some may claim to be without sin, but James said that if we claim be without sin we are deceiving ourselves.

When you see that sin in your life, how are you reacting to it?

Many just ignore it, or accept it as part of being human. As a believer, those are not acceptable views. God does not want sin in the lives of anyone.

Be willing to confess to God your sin. If you confess your sin, God is willing to forgive your sin. He will remove it.

Do not allow yourself to be indifferent towards your sin. Keep yourself in a way that you will be troubled by the sin in your life. Then go before God for forgiveness that He freely offers you. You will find freedom and forgiveness in Jesus.

I pray today that God will reveal sin in your life; that you will turn from that sin; that you will confess to God your sin; and that you will accept His forgiveness for you sin.

Job 17:9 Holding On

Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. Job 17:9

Job just stated that God had made him a byword or one who is talked about by everyone. People looked at him and wondered what went wrong or what he was doing wrong to bring on God’s punishment. He now points out that the righteous will hold their ways and grow stronger.

When a person starts going through a very tough time, the rumor mill starts running. This is especially true for believers who begin to go through a time of major troubles. People begin to wonder what the person did to deserve that suffering or why God is abandoning that person.

As this type of action occurs it is very difficult for many people to continue living for God and doing the right things. Many will start to question how they are living and what they have been doing. They will start to believe that they have missed God’s will for their life.

During times like this, there are some who will change their ways. Some will choose to walk away from God, because they begin to believe that it was wrong all along or does not really matter. Others will just live in question as to whether they are on the right path in life or not.

One who is a true believer in Jesus will not question himself or God. He will know that following Jesus is the only way to live. He will know that living for God is right. He will not give in to the pressure to change or walk away from God.

Those who stay true to God, will be strengthened. The temptations to sin against God will be lowered because of their resolve to stay true to God. Their witness of God’s love and power will be shown in their life. Others will be able to see the power of God at work in their life.

You may be going through one of these difficult times right now, if not, you will most likely go through one some day. As you go through it, resolve to stay true to God and hold on. Do not give up on God. Do not walk away from what you know to be true about God. Live for God and you will be made stronger in the end by God.

I pray today that God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit; that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will know that you are in God’s will; and that you will be a true witness for Jesus as you hold on and not give up.

Job 11:18-19 True Security

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. Job 11:18-19

Zopar, another friend of Job, decided to speak up and say some things to Job. He stated that Job must repent of his sins, trusting that God knows what those sins are. Once that is done Job would be able to rest peacefully and have the needed hope. There would be no one to make him afraid anymore.

There is truth in the need to repent of any sins in order to get peace. However, that peace and security in only between the person that repented and God. Repentance of sins does not automatically mean peace with other people.

When a person repents of sins, Satan sets up a campaign to trip him up back into sinning again. He will mount out an all out attack on his life to pull him away from God. Looking from the eyes of this world, that is not peace, nor security.

Job had done nothing wrong to cause God to allow the attacks that were going on in his life. There was no great sin committed to bring on destruction. God was allowing the attacks to prove Job’s faithfulness.

You may be going through some attacks in your life. If you have already repented of all sins and are trusting Jesus with your life, you will have peace and security with God. You will know that God is in full control of everything that is happening in your life.

The story of your life does not end with this life. Everything can be destroyed and taken in this life, but you will still have everything and eternal life coming to you. You will have hope in what Jesus has promised you.

As you lie down, you will have rest because you know God is in control. The world may or may not give you favor. Most likely the world will still be against you. Satan does not want you to be at peace or at rest. He, using the world, is out to destroy you. Your real security and rest comes in Jesus alone.

I pray today that you will have peace with God; that you will trust God’s control of your life; that God will remove fear of this world from your heart; and that you will serve God with all of your life.