It is a Fallen World

Recently, my in-laws house was robbed.  My daughter, who was staying with them, almost walked in on the thieves in the midst of the robbery.  I am so thankful she did not.  But she did interrupt them, she also saw them taking off in their vehicle and provided the police with a description.  And she did walk in on the completely trashed house.

Dazed and overwhelmed, she explained to me what happened.  I could tell she was still in shock.  I could sense the many emotions that threatened to sweep over her.  She was upset.  Scared.  Freaked out, as she called it.  But I knew that anger would come.   Bitterness too.  Fear.  Frustration.  Loss.

As she recounted the event, waves of remembered emotions swept over me.   After the hurricane.   Seeing the mess, the destruction.  Feeling the anger, bitterness, fear, frustration, loss.

We seek in so any ways to give our lives a sense of order, we create an illusion of control, we have an expectation that things will be as they should be.

And in a moment the order can dissolve into chaos, the illusion of control is revealed and we discover that really, we have no control, and we realize that the unexpected will always happen and the world is definitely not as it should be.

It might be a hurricane.  Or cancer.  Or a fire.  Or a robbery.  Or a car accident.
Our world is interrupted.  Turned upside down.  Maybe even shattered.

Life provides the stuff that reminds us that this world is a fallen world.  That all is not as it should be.  Sin has taken its toll in more ways than we can ever comprehend.  We see evidence of it every day.  Sometimes the evidence is from far away.  Sometimes from way too close.

However, we can rest in the hope that life is not meant to be this way and that it will not always be this way.

While I definitely don’t understand the method, God has a plan.

His word tells us what to expect and what our responses should be.  It is not that He wants to minimize the painful times, only that we keep them in perspective, to remember this life is not all there is.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 6:33

We’re not promised an easy life or that troubles will never come our way.  In fact, the opposite is true.   We are told troubles will come.  But Jesus has overcome the world.
Overcome?  What does that mean?
There must be something more, then.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

We are promised that God will comfort us in our troubles.  Why?  So we can comfort others who are also going through troubles.  Is that it?  We have trouble so we can be comforted and then comfort others in trouble?  Is there any other reason?

… And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but wealso rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:2-4

That’s not all.  Interestingly, we’re not told to be happy when we get to live easy, trouble-free lives, but rather we are told to rejoice in our troubles because they have a purpose.  They develop perseverance and character and hope.  So when the thief comes…

The thief comes only steal, kill and destroy.  But I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10

Indeed, the thief (or in this case, thieves) did come and did steal and did destroy.  But the bigger plan is that Jesus came.  And He came to give us life in abundance.
Even when our lives are stolen, or destroyed?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.   But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Yes, thieves break in and steal.  Hurricanes hit and destroy.  Cancer is diagnosed.  Car accidents happen.  But there is something more.  There is a place where treasures will not be stolen or destroyed.   And there is more.

…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power…
1 Peter 1:4

There is an inheritance.  An inheritance that is imperishable.  So should we despair then when troubles, trials and sufferings come?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9

and in verse 16
Therefore we do not lose heart.

God provides us the power we need to not be crushed, in despair, struck down or destroyed.   In the midst of it all, we do not lose heart.

While I definitely don’t understand the method, God has a plan.
A plan that involves (but by no means is limited to):
Comfort.
Perseverance, character and hope.
Abundant life.
Treasure in heaven.
Imperishable inheritance.
Power.

Therefore, do not lose heart in this fallen world.

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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