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Theme: Trouble

In Chinese, “crisis” is written with two symbols. In the English language, these translate to “Danger” and “Opportunity.” Hmmm. Do these two words summarize our emotional connection to adversity very well?

Trouble can feel “dangerous”, because we’d rather be comfortable, cozy, and safe. Therefore, it’s human nature to avoid trouble. But trouble is unavoidable in life. Life is difficult. Jesus Himself tells his closest followers, "In this world you will have trouble." Those words were not just for the disciples, they are for us today. We too will face dangers and disappointments in this world - trouble. This truth is not emotionally satisfying, but so accurate. Think about the following trouble we have seen in recent times.

  • Pandemic.

  • Partisan politics.

  • Racism.

  • War.

  • Inflation.

  • Lack of work ethic.

  • Sickness and death.

But troubles are also full of “opportunity”, as the challenges of adversity become the greatest catalyst to our growth.

The irony of life is our greatest opportunities in life will also be our most trying. And if we can reframe those “troubles” to being the enablers of growth, then we can grow. Maybe after the warning of trouble, Jesus promptly says, "Take heart!" Take heart means from deep within, deep in your soul, muster up some strength. Take heart because Jesus has overcome all the trouble of the world.

My dad always says, "this too shall pass." We are just passing through this troubled world. So let's not allow the trouble to defeat us. Let us take heart and see trouble as an opportunity to grow.


Scripture: John 16:33 (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”



"Heavenly Father, after my emotional response to trouble, which I confess is not usually good. Help me to refocus and take heart. Help me to grow and learn to handle trouble in a way that is not defeating but victorious. May I mature in my faith and truly believe You work out all things for good. In the name of Christ, Amen."

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