Our Nation and a good portion of the
developed world are in the midst of very severe financial
difficulties. As God’s children, we can confidently look forward
to a secure and blessed future. There is great consolation in
the prophetic sections of God’s Word which speak of our rapture,
Christ’s Second Coming, the creation of new heavens and earth
and the blessed, indescribable enjoyment of an eternity in the
immediate presence of our glorious God and Savior.
Notwithstanding this blessed hope, we cannot escape
concern for our Country given the economic difficulties which have come
upon us like a sudden storm. Almost all of us are experiencing the
consequences of this recession, and certain families, especially where
the main financial providers work in the housing industry, are facing
great trials. We need to pray fervently for these dear families.
But we are not to lose our composure or allow our
hearts to be faint. Rather these trials are an opportunity to see the
greatness of our faithful Provider in action. As Christ declares in
Christ describes tribulation as an expected
and normative experience for all His children as long as they
are in the world. Our Lord is saying that it would be unusual
for us not to experience tribulation as long as we are in the
The encouragement Christ gives in this passage is
liberating. He is commanding us to grab hold of our courage because He
has personally overcome the world. Throughout the NT, we are
taught that through His death, burial, and resurrection Christ defeated
the power of sin and the rulers of darkness who reign over the world.
Christ’s victory over the cross is the means by which His children are
able courageously and confidently to face tribulation.
This is not to say that things will be easy. The word
“tribulation” is a description of great affliction that we will
experience until God brings us home. But God is declaring that in the
midst of this affliction we have power in Christ to respond to our
difficulties with “courage”. This is true of us because the Lord
has defeated any circumstance in the world that could harm us
Jesus Himself is the ground of our courageous
Hebrews 13:5-6 - Make sure that your
character is free from the love of money, being content with what
you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert
you, nor will I ever forsake you," 6 so that we confidently
say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be
afraid. What will man do to me?"
We are to be emboldened by the triumphant truth of
1 John 5:4-5, 18-19 - 4 For whatever is
born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has
overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is the one who
overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of
God? . . . 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins;
but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does
not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and that the
whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
John is not stating that no physical harm can
come to us in the world. He is stating that our faith in Christ enables
us to overcome the world. As a result, God is our keeper and thus the
evil one “does not touch us”. This does not mean God has promised
us protection from all physical harm. The truth declared is that
all who have placed their faith in Christ for salvation have entered
into a protective relationship with Jesus Christ such that the world
cannot “touch” us. This is not a literal reference. Rather it is a
promise that there is no difficulty in the world that can come upon
believers that can cause us spiritual harm. We are kept through
faith by the power of our omnipotent God.
To bring this encouragement to a fitting closure, I
refer you to 1 Peter 1:11 - 3 Blessed be
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great
mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an
inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and
will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are
protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready
to be revealed in the last time.
Here we are promised protection through our faith.
Consequently our safe arrival in heaven and the reception of our
inheritance in Christ is a given. Let us then be Christians of
courage who rest through faith in Christ during these financial