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Overcoming Tragedy and Tribulation
4/15/2015

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

There is an old hymn called, “It Is Well With My Soul” and many of us have sung it in church on a Sunday morning.  The man who wrote this song was Horatio Spafford — a prominent lawyer and real estate investor in Chicago back in the late 1800’s. 

What is truly amazing though about this song is Horatio wrote it after so much tribulation in his life.  He had lost everything in the great Chicago fire of 1871, and within two years of this catastrophe he and his wife had lost their four daughters, as the ocean liner they were sailing on had sunk.  This would have been enough to crush most people.   So how could this man write such a song in the midst of so much tragedy? 

There was only one way — God had brought Horatio to a place of peace.  This man’s peace was not dependent upon his circumstances, but upon his relationship and trust in the Lord (Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:6-8).   We are told in Philippians 1:6, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Part of this work entails our going through very tough trials that don’t always make sense to us.  It is here where we will have to place our faith completely in the Lord and in His plan, and lean not upon our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-7).

As we walk through these valleys we will find we have less desires or reliance upon the physical things of this world; instead we will begin to seek our Lord and His will for our lives.  Our trust in Him will increase and our faith will be strengthened, as we find ourselves saying, “Not my will, but thy will be done,” just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39).  

It is important for us to remember as we go through these tough seasons and face the temptation to quit, and to turn and flee — God loves us so much and He has a perfect plan.  It will mean things will be stripped away in our lives, but it will also allow us to see what we have truly been given in Jesus, and it will allow us to see Him much more clearly.  As we see Him and cling to Him our fear will melt away — and we, like Horatio will say, “It is well with my soul.” 

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today.   Don’t look to your wealth, status, or physical well being for peace of mind; find it in the presence and in your relationship with the Lord. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Heb. 13:5 what promise has God given to His children?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you finding your contentment in God, or do you seek to find it in people and possessions?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to find your true peace in God no matter what you may be facing. 

LET’S MAKE THIS OUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your perfect peace as I choose to cling to You.  I know the things I possess here on earth are only temporary, but You are worth so much more.  Help me to see what I have truly been given in You in the midst of my temptation to want more, or in the midst of my fear of losing what I have. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000