In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
It’s obvious to anyone who fogs a mirror that trouble is an unavoidable part of life. As conscientious as we are at trying to live a trouble-free life, Murphy’s Law sometimes does catch up with us and bad news does knock at our door. And all of us know that it is what we do with trouble when it comes our way that makes us victors or victims, champs or chumps.
Recent troubles in my life have convinced me more than ever that troubles are not to be wasted. I want to take Jesus’ advice, and be encouraged to make the most of this opportunity to be an overcomer in Him.
Many of you know that over the past two months a lump on my neck dragged me into a troubling journey to discover its cause. The ultimate wake-up call with Dr. Death or Dr. Hope, launched me into a process of two biopsies and a CT scan and meeting with two other doctors that finally came back with the verdict that the lump was a benign cyst. I wrote an earlier blog on lessons learned through this process entitled “If life is short, how should I live?”
When I had the cyst removed two weeks ago in a very successful surgery I breathed a sigh of relief that my time of trouble was finally over. But then last week in a follow-up visit to the doctor, I discovered to my dismay, that further testing on the lump indicated it was not benign after all, but rather thyroid cancer. That of course threw me for a loop. Although thyroid cancer is the most curable of all cancers, it has forced me to face the troubling prospect of more surgery and all the necessary follow-up treatment.
Since the advent of that news I can honestly say God has worked some miraculous things in my heart. First, He has graciously given me a deep abiding peace coupled with a faith to believe for total healing and eradication of all cancer from my body. I think just as importantly, He has given me a determination not to waste this troubling circumstance in my life. More than ever I want to gain the maximum benefit from it.
Here are the top four benefits I am seeking to maximize in my troubles. I believe these are universal truths that can help all of us whenever trouble comes our way. So, don’t waste your troubles!
- Turn to God as you never have before.
- Re-prioritize your life with Christ at the center.
- Become more Christ-like in your relationship with others.
- Commit to an end-game strategy that glorifies God no matter what happens.
More tomorrow. What have your troubles taught you?
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