2 – “Glory In the Midst of Trouble!”

Words From The Upper Room

Everyone knows that life in this world has joys and sorrows, good times and hard times. While many people today seem to want a “happy Christianity,” where “positive thinking” turns troubles into triumphs and scars into stars, true disciples of Jesus know that picture is like a mirage in the desert … it doesn’t exist! Some may try to see the world through the proverbial “rose-colored glasses,” but the reality is that life in this world includes trials, suffering and, ultimately, death. How then can you live every day with a sense of hopefulness and not a sense of despair? The answer for many is to pretend that all is well … or at least to push aside the bad and focus on the good.  And sometimes that works … temporarily at least. If you have to choose between being pessimistic or optimistic, why not just look for the good?! Or as some have said:  “Prepare for the worst; hope for the best!” However, that’s not how Jesus lived, and that’s not how He calls His disciples to live.  Jesus was a “realistic optimist.” He didn’t play mind games. He knew what was in the heart of man, He knew the struggles of life in this world, and He knew He was sent to proclaim His kingdom, to call people to repent and believe, and then to go to the cross and to rise again. He knew evil existed, yet He also knew He had the power to overcome evil, in fact, to defeat it! It is that knowledge that drove Him forward, and the same is true for His disciples. In our text today it would be easy to focus on betrayal and denial, but there is something more here: there is glory in the midst of trouble because JESUS is in the room!! Listen carefully to all Jesus says and discover how to see what Jesus saw as you live in this world by the power of His Spirit within you!