Living In The Tension

living in the tension red
“The thief's purpose Is
to steal and kill and destroy.

My purpose is
to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
~Jesus

John 10:10 NLT

Crossroads Chapel Melinda Cheryl Weber

Cheryl Campbell, Melinda Estabrooks, Cheryl Weber and I at the Crossroads Chapel

Months ago, I was asked to speak at the Crossroads Staff Chapel where 100 Huntley Street, Context with Lorna Dueck, See, Hear, Love, A Better Us, Outside the Box and many other Christian shows are taped.

When the news reported the horrifying death of the toddler outside the studio I was saddened, and felt a sense of great responsibility, realizing my turn on the chapel schedule was now falling the week after this tragedy.  Knowing I was going to speak to an emotionally bereft group changed the dynamics drastically.

Leadership called and discussed how it was no longer appropriate for me to share some of my John Maxwell training with a motivational message, as originally requested.  They asked if I could instead share a word of comfort. I was honored to be the one God had positioned for the task, at the same time feeling scared skinny.  I would be speaking with people whose hearts were heavy with the deeper questions of life.  Living in the tension of what God wants the world to be like, and how our realities can contradict His promises.

Living In The Tension

My heart was aching, desperately wondering what words of encouragement I might be able to share with this grieving group. Do I just dance around the recent tragedy or discuss it head on?  I felt the Lord directing me to address the toddler’s passing right at the beginning.  If not, it would be the elephant in the room.  Everyone was thinking about it and so many had questions… hard questions. Especially from those who do not have a faith in Jesus Christ but work at the Crossroads Centre in rented office space.

I felt an awesome responsibility to tell how Jesus came to bind up the broken-hearted and explain how this world isn’t running the way God initially created it to function. What happened there, was not a part of God’s plan.

It’s hard to grasp, but the explanation for this truth goes back to Jesus statements in John chapter 10 when He was trying to explain how He was the good shepherd, the Messiah.  Jesus taught how the devil’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.  It was true back when Jesus’ feet walked the earth, and it’s still true today.  Thankfully, Jesus didn’t end his statement in the negative.

John 10:10

Jesus completed his message by assuring everyone that, His purpose is to give us this rich, satisfying, abundant life. The enemy wants to take from you, Jesus came to give. Jesus came with a purpose to bring good into our lives, but then… why do we continue to suffer?  Jesus was trying to enlighten people to the reality of spiritual warfare. We can try to pretend it’s not a reality, but we’re ignoring the facts. This battle of good vs. evil isn’t just a fictitious theme for Sci-Fi movies. You see, this war of good vs. evil that started at the beginning of time continues to rage today. The fallout from this clashing of kingdoms leaves us wounded and experiencing heartache.

As long as you exist on earth, you live in the tension of these two, simple truths:

  1. God Is Good, and His purpose is to give you a good life.
  2. The Devil is Bad, and his purposes toward you are evil.

In times of uncertainty; when your tension wires seem like they’re about to snap and the reality of the devil’s purpose is being played out in your life… don’t lose hope in the truth that, God—IS—good. Whether it happens here on God’s green earth or when you get to Heaven, God will give you the abundant life He promised through Jesus. He’s true to His promises.

Prayer

Father… I’m so thankful that you’re here when tragedy strikes. You are as close as the mention of Your name.  Help my eyes to not fixate on the display of evil, so that it clouds the truth of your goodness.  Let visions of injustice and examples of pure evil draw me closer to you.  Increase in me a longing for heaven, where You wipe away every tear and all that remains is good.  In Jesus Name…Amen

Soul H2OIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

 

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 Drawing From The Well

  1. John 10:10
  2. Jeremiah 29:11
  3. John 3:16-17
  4. Hebrews 6:17 (Very clear in NIV, NASB, HCSB)

BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
MONDAY
 Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,

TUESDAY 
Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
THURSDAY
 Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
FRIDAY
 Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin 

Comments(2)

  1. Debbie Wilson says

    Sherry, I’m sure your message brought comfort. Without an eternal perspective we can’t see that God really does take care of His own even though for a little while it may not look like it.

    • Sherry Stahl says

      Debbie,
      I’m praying this post helps so many. We all need to grow in our eternal perspective. Praying God gives you grace as you live in the tension.
      ~Sherry
      xoxo

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