Links Daily Devotional

Leaning on the Overcomer

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. (Philippians 1:12, NIV)

I listened to a radio ad the other day for a disaster relief service company. This company comes in after the storm. The ad simply says, “We hope disaster never happens, but when it does, we are there for you. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a week. Three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. We are there for you to get you through this ordeal.”

I like the phrase, “but when it does.” I know there are all kinds of disasters and tribulations, and we are guaranteed some of it all. Jesus said, “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” (John 16:33).

We are victors in times of trouble because of his amazing grace.The radio ad concludes with, “We stop at nothing because the job is not done until the job is done right.” Jesus stops at nothing until we have his peace, and some of us are slow learners. Jesus loves us so much that he will never stop working with us while providing perseverance, proven character, and hope (see Romans 5:3-5).

Jeff is a good friend, a Links Player, and a cancer survivor who has memorized the book of James. He confided to me one day, “It is hard to understand what James tells us in the first few verses of chapter one.” James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-3).

Jeff now understands more. God healed him in his first cancer so that he could be a good witness to others during his second cancer ten years later. While waiting on his cancer treatments at MD Anderson Hospital, Jeff would speak confidently and hand out cookies and words of encouragement to other cancer patients who were awaiting treatments. God has chosen to heal him of the second cancer as well.

My wife and I have a good friend who lost her husband in a tragic plane crash that she witnessed as she awaited his arrival at the local airport. How could this disaster happen? Why? They had a young family and they all needed their daddy. She told God that this was just too much to handle. She struggled.

We were with her a year after the accident. She still struggled but also learned a lot about God in the process. She struggled with the passages about tribulations and suffering, and then she read Job 1:21. It provided the answer she needed: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). God has indeed given us a lot.

When trouble comes, we know to lean on the one who has overcome the world. We are victors in times of trouble because of his amazing grace.

Randy Wolff
August 9, 2016
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