9/1/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –

Life can deal us body blows that sometimes just take the breath out of us. What is happening to us might seem crushing at the moment, but for someone else, they may wish to have our problems. But for all the people involved, at that moment, the body blows are real, and they hurt.

As some of you know Judy had some medical issues last month regarding her health. It is a long but totally God story that maybe she will write about, and I can post it in a blog in the future. Needless to say, after numerous tests they found aneurysms on both of her kidney’s. There was very little hope in saving one kidney and the other one was only a matter of time. Worst case scenario, Judy could bleed to death during the operation. Needless to say, it was an anxious time for us. When it was over even the doctor had to agree that God showed up. Judy had two stents placed into that one kidney and is now doing fine.

Last Thursday the Pentagon confirmed that 13 U.S. service members have been killed and 18 wounded after two suicide bombers detonated explosives near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan.

These two stories are drastically different with different levels of pain and angst.

Is there a common solution for everyone involved? I believe there is! Consider the story of Jesus’ disciples. For the past few days, these disciples have felt like they have been at Six Flags, riding the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, the “Kingda Ka.” (Well, they would have, had there been a Six Flags back then.) They have experienced emotional highs as well as emotional lows, and not much time to transition between the two. You can read the account beginning in the 12th chapter of John in the Bible.

They were riding sky-high when they walked into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, because their Messiah, the one that they had been working with these past 3+ years, the one that they had given up everything for, this Jesus who had become their best friend and counselor, this Jesus, has finally come to Jerusalem to take down the Romans and set up His kingdom. Or so they thought, and they were ecstatic!

It would only be hours later that their emotions would bottom out. Jesus would reveal to them that He would soon be leaving them, and they could not come with Him. Not only that, but Jesus was not in Jerusalem to set up His kingdom, He had come to Jerusalem to die! You need to understand, this concept, what is now happening, had never crossed their mind. The fact that Jesus was going to die, came as much as a surprise to them, as it did for those parents and spouses when they found out that their loved one had died last Thursday in Afghanistan.

The disciple’s night would only get worse. Jesus would tell them that each one of them would desert Him and that one of them, Peter, the most bold and outspoken of the group, would even deny Him 3 times.

Knowing that He had just dealt these men a crushing blow, knowing that they were distraught, maybe even weeping, what does Jesus do? First of all, let me tell you what Jesus doesn’t do. He doesn’t tell them to get a grip of their emotions and get it together. He doesn’t say, go to the local Jewish bookstore and pick up the latest book on disappointment and discouragement. Jesus did not encourage them to just dig deep within and find the strength to get them though this. Jesus doesn’t even say, ‘come on, let’s just focus on all the fun times we had together.’ Jesus doesn’t do any of these things, instead Jesus said… “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)

Jesus said, “Trust me.” Period! Jesus did not say, “Trust in me and some other things too.” Jesus did not encourage them to only trust certain things about Him. No! Jesus told them, at the lowest point in their lives, “Trust in me, I’ve got this!!” Jesus is saying to His disciples, “Guys you can trust me! You can trust me during this time when you have questions! When circumstances have confused you, when you have been disappointed, and when your pain seems to be the deepest it has ever been, trust me!!”

Please understand that our trust is not based on what God might do; we can base our trust on what God can and will do. One of Judy’s mentors Oswald Chambers said, “Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature, He brings them down from above.” And that is what Jesus is saying! “What you need right now is not found in yourself or anyone or anything. What you need right now is Me! Trust me!”

Jesus continues… In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

We can trust God that He will work everything out for His glory and our benefit. No matter what you are facing, God’s got this, and if you don’t believe me, look at heaven. If He is willing to go and work and prepare a place for you for all eternity, don’t you think that He will take care of you until you get there?

We looked at three different stories, but the solution is the same…“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” When you get discouraged, when you feel overwhelmed, when it seems like life is only giving you rotten tomatoes, don’t be troubled; look up.

Remember that God has not promised to keep your heart from being troubled, discouraged, or overwhelmed, but He has promised to be there when it you are hurting. Your pain and disillusionment are real. People may not understand or know what to say. Your pain at that moment may be beyond description. You may feel like you cannot handle another piece of bad news or answer another “How are you feeling” question. It is at those times, Jesus says, “Don’t let your heart be troubled! Trust me!”

May this arrangement of “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” encourage you today. Remember: God’s got this, and He’s got you! You can trust Him on that!

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