Autumn Leaves 3 Column

Monday, September 7, 2009

Take Heart

I love to watch the sunset. This past week my husband and I spent an evening on the water to take in the sunset and share some time together. It was gorgeous! The colors were amazing; orange, gold, carmine, purple, and crimson melding and mixing until slowly, the light faded into a velvet night. I find that time of day irresistible. I take stock, praise God for the things that have happened, ask forgiveness for the sins I have committed, and just enjoy His creativity as He paints the sky.

There are some facts I have observed about sunsets. If there are no clouds, it’s still beautiful but the colors are fewer, and less enchanting. Conversely, if it is overcast, we don’t get to observe the sunset. The day just becomes grayer until it is just dark. But have you ever noticed that the sunsets are more beautiful when there are a few clouds to accentuate the colors? The reflection of the light on the clouds creates colors and patterns that are unique as the sun gives praise to God for working yet another day.

I think life has some similarities to sunsets. Like clouds, hardships can provide some opportunities to reflect God’s light in our lives. Life is hard. In John 16:33, Jesus says flat out: I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” Did you catch that? We will have trials and sorrows. It’s part of living on earth. Many times, we make choices in our lives that have negative consequences. It’s up to us to make wise choices that result in good outcomes. However, there are some circumstances over which we have no choice. Each of us will experience pain, tragedy, and loss. If you haven’t had that experience yet, just wait; it is the common experience of all people. However, we have a remedy for this, for in that same verse, Jesus continues and says, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus has overcome the world. His grace, His gift of salvation, His presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit, will be with us in the trials and sorrows of this world. His restoration of our relationship with God allows us to “take heart.” The pain of the loss will not be less, but we are not alone in our pain, no matter what our emotions tell us. He is with us! Our relationship with Jesus is enriched when there are obstacles to be overcome and pain to be endured. If there were no challenges, no hardships, life would be beautiful, but I don’t think we could perceive it. As the beauty of a sunset is enhanced by a few clouds, so our lives are enhanced by Jesus as He has “overcome the world.”


  1. I have some clouds, clouds That I could let overwhelm me. I could focus on their darkness. Instead I CHOOSE to see the Son, setting. He makes even the cloudy sky beautiful. I choose to imitate Christ, not to choose darkness. Thank you Gayle, the Holy spirit has used you today to speak life into my hurting heart.

  2. Amen. "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls"
    -- 1 Peter 1:6-9

    As Christians, our joy is not based on changing circumstances, but our eternal relationship with God. Trials and testings serve a great purpose, they only last "a little while" but they are for the "proof of our faith." God is in the business of testing (Job, Abraham, Moses, etc,). He brings trials to test faith, to prove faith real to the one who has the faith that you may live in confidence!

    We should welcome trials. God's purpose is to show you that the proof of your faith is more precious than gold. Tested faith is proven faith, proven faith is real faith, real faith is eternal faith, and eternal faith is pure inexpressible joy.


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