James 5:16 says: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” One Pastor wife's favorite quote is that Joy is not the absence of pain, rather it is the presence of God.
This week, Michael writes that we're joyful because of what Jesus said in John 16. This passage is about Jesus' transition from his public ministry to his private ministry to the twelve. At the end of this passage in verse 31 He said, "Do you now believe." Jesus said that I need to leave but where I'm going you cannot come with me, but I will return. In verse 30 they said that they believed that He had come from God. Jesus warned them that the time will come when they would be scattered. Jesus said that peace is not of this world but true peace is only found in me.
Trials of life put us through changes that we could not have known in advance. After we have received the Holy Spirit, God will prepare us to endure the type of pain and suffering that the world deals us. However, as the Lord revealed to Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee. For My power is made perfect in thy weakness. According to Jehosaphat's prayer, "We have no plan and we don't know what to do. However, Lord, our eyes are upon you.” God reminded Jehosaphat that the battle belongs to the Lord.
The purpose of this life is to draw us closer into the Lord's presence. As CS Lewis said in the Chronicles of Narnia, "The lion (of Judah) is loving but he's not safe." The theme of Oswald Chambers' devotion from August 2 is: In this world you will have trouble, however be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. The peace is not the absence of the storm, rather it is the peace in the eye of the storm. He will give you the peace that passes understanding in the midst of the trial. Supernatural peace will overwhelm us in the midst of the storm. Personal abandonment means to get to the point where God leads us to die to self and to live according to the power of Christ's resurrection...to say "Lord have thy way with us."
When Jesus prepared His disciples, He said that they would be scattered and forsake Him. However, Jesus reminded them that even though they would forsake Him, He would never be alone because His Father would still be with Him.
Let's continue Michael's message on "Peace through Trials" on the next post.
In Christ, Brian