“You Will Have Trouble…” The Most Under-recognized Promise of Jesus

  1. June 9, 2017       From Seedbed.com    J.D. Walt

    John 16:25-30  The Most Under-recognized Promise of Jesus

    Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to good people? The first problem with the question is the false premise that we are actually good people. Remember that time when the guy approached Jesus and called him “Good Teacher,” to which Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No-one is good but God alone.” So there’s that. The second problem with the question is the way it affirms the fundamental value system of karma (i.e. that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people). Remember that time Jesus disciples queried him about he man born blind, asking him, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” In other words, this guy’s trouble must be explained by someone’s bad behavior somewhere in the past.
    It may be the most under-recognized promise in the whole Jesus catalog: In this world you will have trouble.
    Jesus and the Church he’s building is not interested in developing philosophical constructs and theological explanations concerning the problem of evil to middle and upper class people who believe they are entitled to trouble free lives. No, the church about which Jesus said the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, is all about fighting evil and overcoming it by the supernatural power of the Love of God.
    In this world we will have trouble. We will get cancer. Tragedy will strike our families. Untimely deaths will occur. Our children will endure trauma. At the other end of the spectrum, people will be beheaded simply for their faith in Jesus. Trouble is the unfortunate feature and bitter fruit of the insanely complex, compounded brokenness of the whole fallen creation. It is neither an indictment on the goodness of God nor the faith of his followers.
    The big difference on this point is not between people who follow Jesus and people who don’t. Trouble is our common lot. The big difference is the people who follow Jesus get to add this tiny little hand grenade of a footnote to our bumper sticker:
    But take heart! I have overcome the world.”