“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world!”
In many other translations, this verse says, “Take courage!”
Such a beautiful, heartened, rally cry from Jesus to every one of us.
So, what is it that is supposed to embolden us?
The very fact that Jesus has overcome
The Greek word for overcome here is “nenikeka” which means to “be victorious over.” This word is used in perfect tense, which means it is a completed action in the past that continues to impact the present.
Which can only mean – the completed action of Christ’s death on the cross continues to bring us victory into the present day.
(because this IS important,)
we are not told to overcome on our own,
and there is no way we could!
Therefore, take courage –
because you are on the winning team!
Have you ever been on a sports team or watched your favorite team on TV win?
The confidence and elation is nothing compared to what we have available to us, as Christians.
Living a life of courage is walking out that fact of victory in our lives – because the celebration of Christ’s victory did not stop 2,000 years ago – and our courage comes as we allow this reality to ripple into our lives today.
How can YOU walk in victory today?
hugs n’ blessings to all those striving to live courageously during this frightening time of uncertainty in the World.
Please remember you are not in this alone – we’re all on the same team!!
Scattered within the many notes of my journals I have written unannotated words of various bloggers & authors reminding me frequently how…
“We desperately need each other.”
“Jesus never intended for us to live the Christian life alone.”
“The Lord God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.”
Yet, so often I forget just how much I need others.
Certainly I know that we need to live our lives out with others & throughout Scripture God tells us to “lift one another up!”
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding… “
Indeed, “we need one another to get through this life.”
Most especially God tells us to pray for one another.
“that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2
Undeniably, He would not tell us to pray for one another if he didn’t intend to answer those prayers.
But rarely do I take the time to do so for pleasure anymore.
So rare are these occassions that I’ve actually made ‘read more for pleasure‘ an item on my Bucket List!
Yes, really. (#7)
I’ve not (ever) abandoned the love I have for reading nor the time I take to do so; however, the content (most times) falls into the following categories: faith, religious teachings, self-help, & cooking. Ultimately, these are categories which offer something to be learned, which I suppose helps me to rationalize the time still spent with my nose buried between the pages.
I’m not complaining about the categories because truthfully, I do enjoy the content immensely!
But, gone are the days when I’d climb a tree or curl up in a favorite chair to enthusiastically re-read a summer favorite…just because I found comfort in every page turned! Instead I find I must rationalize my time spent reading with the prospect of learning in mind, habitually tossing-aside the comfort ‘reading for pleasure’ provides.
But every once in awhile a book comes along which tugs at my heart so much it is enough to pull me away from being taught something (or so I think…) and reinvigorates my passion to ‘read more for pleasure!’
(Oh, Happy-Day! sigh, at last.)
I discovered this book several years ago via a video-clip.
I was initially drawn to read Ian & Larissa’s story as a result of our mutual life-experiences. My father also suffered a debilitating brain-injury when he was struck by an automobile while crossing the street in the early 1980’s. Sadly, he passed away not long-after from complications due to an infection. However, it was much more (than this) which compelled me to choose their book as a catalyst to work on my bucket list!
Ian & Larissa Murphy co-authored Eight Twenty Eight: When love didn’t give up and tenderly share with us their story of love. I quickly discovered, that it’s not just their love story they were telling. (As even the back book-jacket so eloquantly pointed out.)
Really, it’s all of ours as well!
Ian & Larissa seek to serve God together, all while dealing with the implications of life in a world marked by suffering. And in a world that so easily gives up on love when it becomes difficult to love, their love-story definitely brought great peace to this battle-worn heart!
Reading about their triumph helps one to gain a picture of a love that will challenge all you think you know about what is true and what persists. Quickly, within mere pages of their book I surrended & acknowledged that although I desired to read the book with the intention of ‘pleasurable reading’ in mind; I was about to be ‘taught’ (& remind of) very valuable lessons, as a result of the obvious deep-commitment which they share.
“With courage we write this, in hopes that we all move forward together in loving God more than loving comfort.”
Ian & Larissa Murphy, Dedication page.
There is so much wisdom & joy contained on the pages of this book! It indeed takes courage to move forward. It takes courage to love God. But it is in this courageous act of loving Him most, that we find the comfortwhich sustains us through all things.
Recently, I purchased a painting done by Ian through his personal Etsy site. Ian paints to help fund the physical therapy he must receive daily. It was a difficult choice; however, I chose this particular painting not only for the the incredible subject matter, but mainly because I was comforted & wooed by its title: misunderstood cat.
It also reminded me of an endearing compliment my brother-in-law paid me this past Christmas while playing a Christmas game, when his one-word-description of me was: misunderstood.
Which was a far better word-description than the one he chose for my sister, his wife, which was: “O.C.D.”
But more importantly, Ian’s cat reminded me of how often I misunderstood what it is my heart truly desires.
I entered into reading Ian & Larissa’s story with the comfort of knowing that I would be ‘reading for pleasure‘, at long last!
And yet, I discovered by the end, I misunderstoodALL the comfortI AM offered…even as God continues to ‘teach‘ me in multifaceted ways!
(Pleasurable or not…)
I am so very grateful my Godunderstands me!
hugs n’ blessings to all those purrrfectly ‘misunderstood!’
“He’s still accomplishing, still gaining, and God is still working in him. We can’t accept the “nots,” the assumption that Ian is unable to do things. Because nothing is ever accomplished by not trying.”
Larissa Murphy, Eight Twenty Eight: When love didn’t give up.