Friday, October 31, 2008

Taking It In the Chin

"When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did." (2 Timothy 2:3, The Message).

Jesus told us plain enough that in this world we would have trouble. In the same breath He said, "But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." There is something otherworldly about a person's ability to face significant trouble head on without flinching. To say the least it is inspiring; but more than that it is reassuring. For it bears witness to a world that is greater than this one -- and THAT World is our Home.

Jesus has gone before us and even now is preparing That Place for us. The writer of Hebrews says, "Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed -- that exhilarating finish in and with God -- he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" (Heb 12:2-3).

James, the Lord's brother, wrote, "Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life." (James 1:12).

You can make it, no matter what comes against you. And the reward for doing so is Life here and now -- and an ever greater Life There and Then.

And that is why we are able to to take it on the chin.

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