Can’t Carry On?

Crocus in snow, yellowThese pretty crocuses have been blooming in my back yard for over a week. They came up when the snow melted and the ground warmed up a little in the sun. As we all know, the snow returned several times this week and, unfortunately, buried these flowers. But a few days later they poked right back up out of the snow. It’s as if they’re saying, “We’re going to bloom no matter what happens!”

God has built into nature a tremendous resiliency. Tough things can happen, but the colour and beauty of the world resumes anyway. Don’t you think there’s something important to learn from this? Surely human beings, who have been created in the likeness of God, should be able to get up and try again when they have been knocked down by life’s troubles. Now I’m not naive; I know that some troubles can be devastating and overwhelming. I don’t know how some people manage to survive. But I know what Jesus said about survival.

He said it in John 16:33. “These things I have spoken to you, than in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” When you follow a man who went through death and Hades and then rose again, you have a power at work in your life that can make you stand. The snows of life will bury you once in a while, but you can still get up and bloom.

– Tim Johnson

The Courage of Love

Some days it seems that the world is very cold. It feels like you are in the way and everyone wants to run over you. No one seems to care. Days like that cause us to seek refuge in those whom we know love us: family, good friends, and those who depend on us.

However, Jesus once again surprises us. He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32). There is nothing admirable about loving people who are willing to return the same love to you. Everybody does that. Jesus challenges us to love those who won’t. Continue reading

Take Courage

Jesus and PilateWe welcome our speaker today, Kevin Cleary from Meaford. He’s chosen to teach us about faithful living when we face the world’s pressures – and Christians do grapple with some peculiar kinds.

Jesus was no stranger to “tribulation,” which is another word for the pressures that come at us from the world. He spoke of it in John 16:33 shortly before he was arrested and killed. These events weighed heavily on him, yet he did not shrink back in fear. He faced them with confidence. He expected pressure from the world, and he taught his disciples to expect the same. But he gave them a reason to have courage: “I have overcome the world.” Soon he would rise again from the dead and be victorious over all that the world did to him. Continue reading