[Calvary Chapel] 2003-01-02 - Small Things

John 16:21-22 "Whenever a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 "Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you. (NAS)

Jesus is speaking to His Disciples who are struggling with Jesus' statement that He will die and have to leave them for a time. When the Master is trying to make a point with someone He often uses an example that is easy for the listener to grasp. Here everyone is familiar, at least in concept, with the difficulty of childbirth. Having seen it with my own eyes I knew that was close enough for me. I knew the joy of seeing Christopher born and knowing that the struggle was over. The joy of holding the baby seemed to sweep the memory of the struggle into the background.

Our life here bears some similarity to this process as well. There are many sorrows here both great and small. Some alter the course of our lives, while others are mere annoyances by comparison. Jesus suffered the cross "for the joy set before Him". His goal was our redemption. The joy was setting you and me free from captivity to sin and spiritual death. Our joy is knowing that we are redeemed and our future is fixed beyond altering in Heaven with the Lord.

My encouragement to you is to keep things in perspective. I have to include myself in this list. I too get angry at being cutoff in traffic - especially so on the highway where the danger seems greater. Is it all right to be angry? Yes, but don't dwell on things - especially the little things that are over and done. To allow these things to steal the joy from your life and mine is not right. There are things that will bite at us and some that will be daily relentless reminders of wrongs done and our own failures. Focus instead on the joy, like the newborn, and that joy can be something that will draw people in and make them ask why you are so different.

Don't let especially the small things - in perspective - keep you down. Happy New Year!

Heb 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NAS)

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com