If you were permitted to write the script of your life, how would your story read? Would it be filled with romance and adventure? Would you seek to be a person of fame, wealth and influence or choose a quiet, simple life?
Whatever your vision, most likely your days would be marked by prosperity and happiness, and reputable characters would share your world. One thing is certain, however, you would choose to edit out adversity and sorrow. Tears would never flow, age would never diminish, dictionaries would be void of the definition of such things and life would be untouched by death. It wasn’t in God’s original script either, but rebellion against His authority changed that.
I have imagined how I would have chosen to write my story and the truth is, it doesn’t mirror the reality of experience. I would guess the same is true for you, because that is the nature of life in a broken world. Expectations and experiences are often polar opposites. Maybe you’ve known a few:
- The one you pledged your life to walked away
- Addiction has invaded your home and turned your world upside down
- An illness has weakened or discouraged
- Financial losses have left you wondering how you’ll make ends meet
- A loved one has been laid to rest and life on earth is forever altered
Yes, we live in a broken world. And though we acknowledge that, we cling to the hope that suffering will not touch us to the degree we know is possible. Perhaps that is why we entertain the imaginary life … the life we long to live. Deep inside we sense that we were meant for something more.
Jesus spoke clearly to our condition. If the 16th Chapter of John, we read “These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Peace and good cheer. Who doesn’t long for that?
Webster’s definition includes “A state of mind or heart; Spirit, something that gladdens; to instill with hope or courage, comfort; to dispel gloom or worry.” Cheer has a far deeper meaning than the one we assign to it and our Lord would never instruct us to seek the unattainable.
He is the source of our peace ~ the One in whom cheer resides. Jesus did more than speak comforting words, He demonstrated the power of His love in action. He endured the scourging, the mocking and the brutality of the cross so that we would be one with Him, even as He is one with the Father. Through His indwelling Holy Spirit, we have access to the God of all hope and comfort. That is where we find power to overcome this broken world.
Truly Jesus overcame for us. In Him, we not only find strength to bear up under circumstances not of our choosing, but also to receive the blessing of cheerfulness despite their presence. The old hymn Learning to Lean says it well … “finding more power than I ever dreamed, I’m learning to lean on Jesus.”
Trusting Christ allows us to have peace in life’s reality. One day, we will come to see the full purpose and meaning that is now mystery. My guess is we will be amazed at the perfect outcome of our stories and praise God that we weren’t the sole authors.