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You will have trouble

Every night a cyber war is waged in our offices. Last night was no exception. Last night 241 Chinese hackers tried to climb over our server firewalls and one of them made it, shutting down our blog connections. It’s the surprises that upset us. We expected functionality and peace and&hel…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Every night a cyber war is waged in our offices. Last night was no exception. Last night 241 Chinese hackers tried to climb over our server firewalls and one of them made it, shutting down our blog connections.

It’s the surprises that upset us. We expected functionality and peace and… SURPRISE!  Conflict comes in its place.  And it's that way for all of us. Maybe you expected a time of plenty, but surprise! You lose your job and you find yourself scrounging for a living instead.

That’s why, if we can prepare ourselves for the worst, it’s not so bad. That’s why when Jesus says, “You will have trouble,” (John 16:33) it’s a gift. It takes the edge off the surprise.  We get a chance to set our expectations, to prepare ourselves for the worst.

“Trouble” could be any number of things.  It could mean resistance, pain, or just stuff going wrong.  If you’re on a team that’s focused on a goal, trouble could come in the form of disunity.  Perhaps teammates disagree about where the team should go or how to get there. 

Jesus gives us a list of troubling things that will befall us as we advance his kingdom. We will be…

  • Handed over to local councils
  • Flogged
  • Arrested
  • Betrayed
  • Death
  • Hated by all men
  • Persecuted*

But paradoxically, his motive is to encourage us. Jesus is telling us a story. He's saying, "We have an objective. It will meet resistance, but in the end, we win."

As plot lines go, it's a good one. His purpose is to give us the big picture. He concludes by saying, "Take heart, I have overcome the world." It's good advice.
  
If we didn’t face a sworn enemy who was committed to seeing people suffer, it would be different. But every bit of progress toward freedom or happiness is a setback for him. When his kingdom suffers a setback, he can be counted on to resist and cause trouble.

Many of us are in some kind of trouble. If that's where you find yourself today, consider that it may in fact be a good thing.

*Matt. 10: 17-23

Comments (6)

  • Great word, as usual. I never tire of these blog posts. Thanks God for leading me to this. I too have a blog but mine are longer. I like these short bursts!

  • my personal info got hacked Sunday night and though the cleaning up of the mess and shoring up accounts was exhausting, I’m already seeing the good things that are coming out of it…

  • This is so true! For every trouble, a lesson is learned, our spirit is strengthened!

    Also it’s also true to always expect the worst(trouble) when one is threading a new situation, it’s not pessimism, it’s being cautious and mindful, and always the adventure is accomplished with less mistakes, more pleasant surprises!

    Thanks Seth for supporting it with words from Jesus!

  • Thanks for posting! ūüôā Yeah, so much good can come out of trouble. In fact, it’s kind of a compliment when you think about it…instead of complaining about how Satan’s hitting you, why not thank God that the enemy considers you a threat in the first place? I mean, praise God if I’m a target—it means that Satan sees something in me (like the Holy Spirit, maybe?! :D) that he finds threatening to his own goal. It means God’s working in my life and making me more like Him.

  • Wow- 241 Chinese hackers. How did you even figure that out? Were they targeting AIM because of Christian content? Never a dull moment with Jesus.

  • We’ve got a genius IT dept. They take care of us. Don’t know why all the hackers come after us. Maybe they like the challenge.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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