A Note From Chris - September 30, 2021

John 16:33 - "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Take heart.

Jesus’ words are so helpful when facing a world that is filled with so many trials and sorrows. Just a quick scan through my prayer journal or a quick check on the news of the day reminds me that there are no shortage of problems and difficulties. Marriages are struggling. Addictions are running wild. New decisions about what to do with school or work have created stress for so many. The trials are here, and they likely aren’t going anywhere. But Jesus’ command is not to “buckle down.” He does not just tell us to be tougher or speak up more often. He certainly does not tell us to sit around bemoaning that the days are evil. They are. He knew it. Instead, he says to take heart.

To take heart is to have hope. To recognize a bigger, more significant battle is being fought, and your side is going to win. To take heart is to put your hope well above the issues at hand to the One who can hold all things together. In order to take heart, we have to put our attention beyond this world “here on earth” and set our focus above it to the world beyond. The spiritual discipline of living in this world with all of its daily decisions and struggles with a perspective on the next world is challenging but incredibly refreshing.

So when the trouble comes; when someone says something hurtful; when your grown child shuns you for no good reason; when your kid makes a decision that embarrasses you; when your spouse isn’t being as loving as they should; when someone close to you does something hurtful; when you feel down on yourself and wonder if you should even keep trying, remember to take heart! The One we put our hope in has not just walked in your shoes, he has overcome. He has endured this world and then conquered it. So we can take heart!

This weekend, we will discuss the movie 42, the true story of Jackie Robinson, a baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The movie depicts the struggles of racism Robinson faced, and allows us a platform to talk about our own approach to folks regarding racial tensions in our world. Lenny Barber will be joining me for the teaching portion. We are also making a special announcement during the message this week, so don’t miss out! Who should you text or call or email right now to invite them to come with you this Sunday?

Can’t wait to see you then!

Yours & His,
Chris VandeLinde

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