by Terry J. Hallock

It's Not the Trouble You're in But the One You're in
T. J. Hallock
John 16:33
October 20, 2002

I want to talk about trouble and what we do when it shows up. To do so I want to focus on the simple two-letter preposition in. In is so commonplace in our daily language that we hardly pay attention to it. But in the context of trouble the noun that follows in makes all the difference between hope and despair, victory and defeat.

Jesus declared two things about trouble and the first was this. "In this world you will have trouble." As long as we're in this world trouble will show up regardless of whether we're young or old, rich or poor, male or female, and regardless of whether we're a born again Christian, cynical agnostic, or hardened atheist. "In this world you will have trouble."

One of the most deceptive myths the Prince of this troubled world, the devil, can lay on our minds is that life ought to be free of trouble. Non-believers are convinced that if they can just play the world's system with skill trouble will disappear. Often believers in Christ are convinced that if they have accepted Jesus as Lord trouble should not enter their lives. Both are tragically wrong.

Living under the myth that life can be free of trouble creates a self-perpetuating cycle of suffering because trouble continues to come. If we believe that trouble is an aberration and an unacceptable anomaly when it arrives we treat it as a sign of personal failure or as proof of God's injustice. We become angry with ourselves. We become enraged with God. We shake your fist in the mirror at our own perceived weakness and shout at heaven because God has let us down. "This isn't right! This isn't the way it's supposed to be!" But oh, my friend that is exactly the way it is and it can be no other. "In this world you will have trouble."

Jesus wants us to know the truth about trouble so that the truth can set us free. Being in this earthly flesh will always result in suffering an ...

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