Christians will experience the impact of afflictions, despair and grief common to mankind, but God will never desert us to their power. In the world we’ll have trouble, Jesus warned in John 16:33, a reality we can’t avoid. Trouble we can manage, or sometimes can’t. Trouble that’s minor, or catastrophic. Trouble we soon forget, or leaves us scarred for life. Inevitable, indiscriminate, never-at-an-opportune time tribulation—at which Jesus snaps his fingers in scorn since he faced and overcame it all!
Jesus...the ONE in our corner when circumstances have backed us there; who sees us through when others say we’re through; who stands BY us when we’re weak since he stood UP FOR us when we were sinners. Jesus...whose bodily resurrection transformed death from finality to introduction and declares death the opening, not the closing, act of life.
An Oceana man died in 2004. Conversant in multiple languages, he had eventful careers in teaching, business and real estate. Yet, when his son sat at the death bed weeping, the man could say only, “Don’t be sad, son. Eighty-three years are enough.” Then there was a Christian man who died at 95, but they hardly began for him, let alone proved enough. A man lived in the wilderness of Wheeler Mountain, Vermont. When he suffered a heart attack, paramedics came and wheeled him from house to ambulance. Before being hoisted inside he begged for one last, long look upward at what he was leaving.
Yes, the way of the world...looking back at what’s GOING. While the Christian looks forward to what’s COMING! Billy Graham pondered his coming death. And said, when you hear that Billy Graham has died, don’t you believe it. In the instant I take my last breath, I’ll be more alive than I’ve ever been. End Part IV