“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.”  Proverbs 30:5

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

I believe that there is a vital aspect of our understanding of how the Word frames our relationship to Our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ concerning our interaction with the world.  First, the world and all that is in it, of course in fact the entire universe is a creation of Our Heavenly Father.  Second, even though we are all included in and as His creation; we have the ability and sadly many have availed themselves of this ability to reject the Word of Our Heavenly Father.  Thus those who have rejected His Word have become “worldly” in nature, that is following the leader and his precepts concerning how to live without God in this world.  Make no mistake, regardless of what any bumper sticker might proclaim, the world has no desire to coexist with people of God; they desperately want us to join them and if they can’t convince us to do that; then they hate and want to utterly destroy us.  Finally and I can’t stress this enough; Jesus Christ provided us with His example, extolled and warned us with His words; that we are not to hate or want to destroy them in return.  We are to love them who hate us.

So now let me explore that interaction with the world.  For the world is going to tempt us; threaten us, attack us, try to instill fear in us, try to make us doubt or worst yet, turn away.  Knowing that, we need to know this as well, in no way shape or form, has Our Heavenly Father left us vulnerable or open to defeat by the attacks of the world.  First, God, the Creator of all things, the Beginning and End of all things, He who is perfect in every way, has seen fit to pass His word down to us.  Proverbs tells us that His word is pure.  Proverbs also reassures us that those who put their faith in God, are shielded.  Now please understand the purpose of a shield.  A shield never prevents an attack from happening.  The very fact that a shield exists is a realization that attacks exist and without a shield can be extremely injurious if not fatal.  Yet a shield can utterly defeat those attacks, can stop any injury from happening.  God is that shield for us as long as we will trust Him

Jesus is having His last supper with His disciples.  He has been telling Him about His impending leaving, the world’s hatred of Him and what the disciples are going to be facing as well.  He is speaking tribulations.  The things He is speaking to His disciples are not just for them and for the period of a few days or weeks after Jesus’ crucifixion.  No, they sober assessment of the sorts of tribulations all believers will face because of attacks by the world.  Yet Jesus instructs them to be at peace; to be of good cheer.

Now please; Dear Sisters and Brothers; this is not an exaltation to “see the glass half full” or “make lemons out or lemonade” kind of platitude.  For,. while I’m a firm believer in the fruits of having a positive attitude; a positive attitude in and of itself is not going to defeat the world.  This is not “half full”, do what I can with what I have kind of sentiment, but “my cup runneth over” with provision from Our Heavenly Father prophetic truth.  You see my attitude is all about me and my power, but Jesus Christ proclaims that to have His peace and be in sustainable good cheer from Him, those can only happen as long as we are in Jesus Christ.  Our shield only comes from trusting Our Heavenly Father.  We don’t obtain it through ourselves; we are given it from above; freely.

How do we get there?  Here again is something so amazingly love filled, so totally unnatural for us, but completely within God’s loving nature.  For do you remember when, after the transfiguration, Jesus came down and the disciples were trying to heal a young boy and could not do so?  The father begs Jesus saying “But if You can do anything…..” Jesus responds…..”all things are possible to him who believes”.  And then it happens, the man knows his limitations.  For out of the depths of his despair, out of the truth from his innermost being; the father cries out:  “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”  Jesus Christ does, and heals the child.

You see Dear Sisters and Brothers, if our being in Jesus Christ, our trusting in God, was solely and souly based on the strength of our human derived faith; we’d be lost.  We are sinners.  That is why Jesus Christ came to sacrifice Himself for our sins.  That is why Our Heavenly Father has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts.  In the purest form of love, Our Heavenly Father makes up for the imperfect faith and belief that we have.  But make no mistake, we have to ask for that help.  We have to come to Jesus Christ and confess that He is our Lord and Savior, the One True Son of God, capable of lifting us up; of giving us peace of supplying good cheer.

So don’t be amazed, be overwhelmed and/or be disheartened by the tribulations that the world slings at you.  Be in Jesus Christ and cheerfully be at peace.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father; we are eternally grateful that You have been completely honest about what we can expect in this life as far as interaction with the world is concerned.  We are so thankful that You have provided us Your Word to guide and comfort us.  Thank You for incalculably preserving gift of Your Son Jesus Christ and the promise of peace and cheer that comes from being in Him.  Forgive us Most Merciful Father, when we try to devise our own shields or blunt on our own, the attacks and tribulations that the world throws at us.  Guide us back to the more than sufficient shelter which we find in You.  That in living lives of peace and good cheer, that we would be living testimonies to Your Grace and Love for all Your Creation.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

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