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Saturday, April 9, 2016
Take Heart! - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 9 April Saturday
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I like to watch birds at play, so years ago I built a small sanctuary in our backyard to attract them. For several months I enjoyed the sight of my feathered friends feeding and flitting about—until a Cooper’s Hawk made my bird refuge his private hunting reserve.
Such is life: Just about the time we settle down to take our ease, something or someone comes along to unsettle our nests. Why, we ask, must so much of life be a vale of tears?
I’ve heard many answers to that old question, but lately I’m satisfied with just one: “All the discipline of the world is to make [us] children, that God may be revealed to [us]” (George MacDonald, Life Essential). When we become like children, we begin trusting, resting solely in the love of our Father in heaven, seeking to know Him and to be like Him.
Cares and sorrow may follow us all the days of our lives, but “we do not lose heart. . . . For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Can we not rejoice, then, with such an end in view?
Lord, we do rejoice even in our struggles because we are rejoicing in who You are and Your good purposes for us. You are powerful, loving, in control, and eternal. We trust You and love You.
Heaven’s delights will far outweigh earth’s difficulties.
Despite today’s text telling the story of Paul’s suffering as a follower of Christ, it also carries an implicit message of hope in the phrase “but not” (vv. 8–9). Though Paul suffered in a variety of ways, he was not overwhelmed by his experiences. His hope—and ours—is expressed in verse 17: “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Bill Crowder