“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.”
~Jesus (John 16:33)
It was bloody. The little boy panicked as he saw the blood trickle down his face. It was almost a delayed reaction. He started crying, “dad? DAD? DAD!”. I saw his sweet little face change as shock turned into fear. It all happened very quickly.
There was an instant response. Adults scrambled to call 911, someone pulled the First Aid kit, and others began to pray.
It took his father mere seconds to recognize his son’s voice and respond. He immediately ran to him, picked him up, and wrapped his arms around him. When he heard his fathers voice, “It’s ok. It’s dad. I’m here.” almost immediately, he stopped screaming.
Have you ever been there? One minute all is well. The next? Mayhem!
The phone call comes in-tragedy is on the other line. The doctor’s report-there is no cure. That loved one you were waiting for-they are never coming back. Your marriage-it’s over. The bank balance-it says you you don’t have enough. You can’t find a job, the kids are overwhelming you and the to-do list is taller than you.
Your immediate response includes pain, disappointment, rejection, betrayal, and confusion.
Then what? What is your go-to response? Do you jump up and down screaming? Do you curl up into a ball and let life pass you by? Do you try to hide the blood and the pain so no one else knows you’re in trouble? Do you call it quits and give up?
It’s worth noting the paramedics that responded that day didn’t learn CPR or first aid after they arrived. They learned how to respond to our emergency in advance. In the same way, we should be prepared for life’s emergencies in advance. Jesus warns us, in this world we will have trouble so we need to be prepared to deal with trouble. I’m taking my cues from that little boy. I dug into John 15 and 16 and found that Jesus was telling us there’s one solution to peace in times of trouble.
How do you respond in the face of trouble? Do you frantically call for help? Are you posting a 911 on Facebook for all of your friends to give you a solution? Has any of that ever helped?
Here are three ways we can prepare for trouble with just one word – DWELL.
DWELL (v. to live in or at a specified place).
- DWELL IN HIS PRESENCE. John 15:4 Being in God’s presence changes me even if a stormy situation doesn’t change. The more time we spend with Him in worship and prayer the more our lives will bear fruit.
- DWELL IN HIS WORD. Joshua 1:8, John 15:7 God’s word always gives me the answers, strength and courage. When my peace was under attack and I couldn’t sleep I learned to research the bible. Google became my companion as the Word of God became my best friend. I would look up things like, “what does the Bible say about peace?” and then I would go back to my bible, highlight those verses, and pray every single one over my life. I did the same with joy and hope. I stopped asking people how to find peace, hope and joy and discovered the bible had all the answers. I discovered they were all fruits of the Spirit.
- LET THE HOPE OF JESUS AND HIS WORD DWELL IN ME. John 15:5 God’s Word guides my behavior, it determines how I treat others. His word gives me the wisdom I need to walk out my calling and is a continual source of peace and joy. (Colossians 3:16) When life gets hard and it feels like my struggle is going to kill me I remind myself no weapon formed against me can win. When it feels like my situation is hopeless or that God has forgotten me I remind myself, my hope isn’t in my abilities but my hope is in my anchor, Jesus, the one who gives me hope and whose name has all authority in heaven and on earth. When God’s word is alive in me my perspective changes.
I’m leaning in for all of us today. I am praying we would be more like that little boy with a heart so confident and anchored in a father who cannot fail that we would instinctively call Him, knowing He will come running to us.
Hopeful, Joyful, Anchored and Transformed