"In this world you will have trouble. Take heart! I have overcome the world!" ~John 16:33
It’s a Hard-Knock Life
The little redhead sang the song so joyfully, "it's a hard knock life". I remember seeing the movie, based on the Broadway play, which was based on the comic strip. "Little Orphan Annie" and smiling as she danced and declared victory over the hard-knock life.
Why did this Broadway musical and the subsequent movies do so well? Why did people respond so favorably to the sweet spirited story of a little orphan and her terrible circumstances? Well, the answer is "it's a hard-knock life" and people want to be encouraged as they have to deal with those indescribable challenges.
Jesus, in earthly ministry, spoke realistically about this hard-knock life so many times. Yet, my favorite verse concerning the hard-knock life is found in John 16:33. "In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world".
We live in a world of chaos.
You don't have to be a news junkie to understand this as a reality. Chaos rather than order seems to rule the day in our world. Despite the fact that we have this transformational movement called globalization, where countries lose something of their distinctive borders as nations and where people can instant message, text message and email countless numbers of people, chaos still has its way.
Not too long ago, there was Bosnia and Rwanda and the Sudan and now there are other chaotic places where death, destruction and disease exit alongside the development of globalization. When the so called Iron Curtain came down and Communist as a reigning force declined as a political philosophy, so many of thought, "now we can make progress". Progress has come. The internet is not 20 years old. Nations and societies are developing and still chaos is ever present.
When Natalie Holloway disappeared several years ago, the world of chaos came home to the American public anew. We have seen her blonde hair and smiling face on television an incalculable number of times. There is only a slight chance the real story will ever be known as to her mysterious disappearance.
All of my life the Middle East has been a hot spot. It continues to be today. We have 130,000 or more troops in Iraq and another 15,000 in Afghanistan. Thousands of other military personnel are around the world in places of service, where we hear little news.
Chaos is global but it is also local. We watch the local news and just cringe to hear the accounts of killing and other sorts of crime. A young man can go to Walmart and then leave to go to his truck for his trip home, only to shot in the back of the head. The criminals just wanted his truck. What chaos!!!!
Personal chaos can be cited over and over again to the point we all can become discouraged, if not depressed. Jesus said, "in the world you Will have tribulation (chaos)". This was not an if, but a when kind of declaration. Lest we fall into despair, we only have to read the next part of his declaration…
BE COURAGEOUS. "Be of good cheer" Jesus said. What was that you said Jesus? With all the global, local and personal chaos, did you say, "Be of good cheer"? Yes, that is what our Lord declared.
The NT Greek word translated often as "Be of good cheer" can also be translated "Be courageous". The Holman Christian Standard Bible offers this translation, "In this world you will have suffering. But take courage..." I like that rendering of this hard saying of Jesus.
How do we take courage in the midst of chaos? By looking to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His life is an example of calm in the time of chaos. His life was always in danger, even before the cross. There were people plotting his demise and when the time came to face the cross, He did it with the ultimate calm in chaos. We call that courage.
The word courage comes from the Latin derivative "cour" meaning "heart". To take heart is to be courageous, to lose heart is to be discouraged. The help others take heart is to encourage them.
In the world you will have chaos but be courageous because Jesus has conquered it all.
Jesus Christ is the Victor!!!! He has overcome the world of chaos. Our courage is not grounded in our own power or strength, it is in the power and strength of the One who overcame death and all it means.
Is there still death? Yes, but death does not have the final word. Is there disease? Yes, of course, but illnesses are temporary, life in Christ is eternal. Is there still chaos globally, locally and personally? Absolutely, chaos is still with us because we live in a world of sin and selfishness. But Jesus has overcome sin.
Indeed we do have a hard-knock life but we don't have to be like little orphan Annie and wait on a benevolent Daddy Warbucks to come and rescue us. We have a Savior and a Lord, named Jesus, who has overcome it all for us!! That turns chaos into order, fear into courage and defeat into victory!!!!
Your challenge this week is to create a project using this scripture or another verse that reminds us that though we live in a world of chaos we should have courage! Please use keyword ODBDBVT49 when uploading your project to the web and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us!
Supplies for this project
Cardstock: Truly Yours – White Card Base; Bazzill – Coconut Swirl
Decorative Paper: Graphic 45 – Little Darlings
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs – Scripture Series 3, Vine Borders
Inks, Stains and Paints: Versamark Embossing Ink; Versafine – Onyx Black; Ranger Distress Ink – Tea Dye, Tattered Rose
Accessories & Other Stuff: Celebrate It – White Satin Ribbon; Wild Orchid Roses