John 16:3 “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.”
James 1:2-3 Considerate it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
1Peter 4:1-2 (The Message) Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.
I think these passages make it clear that “In this world you will have trouble”. Since we will have trouble, it is not about the trouble; it’s about how we handle it. I see two options: one trust in self and the world’s ways, or two trust in God. In my early life, I chose option one; but now I’ve had enough years with the Lord to relish option 2. The longer I struggle with these options, the easier it gets to live under option two. The Apostle Peter in the above scripture paints a clear picture of how working through troubles frees us from the pursuit of our selfish will.
As a father, I have watched my adult children walk through many of life’s troubles. It was painful. I helped when I could, but circumstances didn’t often allow me to intervene. I learned that they are God’s children, and I need to allow him to be their father.
Now, how wonderful it is to see my children maturing in the Lord. I am truly blessed, and so is our Father. As I trust him, he is blessed; and as my children trust him, he is blessed.
Now he and I get to see my adult grandchildren go through the troubles of this life. It will be at times painful to watch, but I know God and I will be blessed. It’s his promise to me.