Focal passage: 1 John 3:19-4:4
The best adventure stories are full of tension – high stress moments where the audience is left on edge. Will the hero or heroine overcome? Will the plan be thwarted? Will evil be revealed and overthrown? We connect to these stories because we know that tension; deep in our souls we feel the tightening.
Where I live, all around me I see God’s creative power: the soft smoke tracing blue ombre mountains, the seasonal shift from emerald to ochre and crimson, the stillness of fresh snow. I wake up to the glory of God without even trying. I also see deep heartbreak and suffering – sin and what sin produces: stress, sickness, loneliness, depression, sexual confusion, anxiety, bickering, bitterness, resentment, rage and apathy.
In ministry, you walk through life with people. You’re with them in their highest highs and lowest lows in a way few others are, and you feel it all. You see the Holy Spirit change hearts and draw people toward holiness in ways you didn’t see coming; you get to rejoice as heaven itself rejoices. You also see new and decades-long sin show itself in pain, chaos, ignorance, neglect, numbness, distraction and abuse. You feel the tension. We all feel the tension.
Will the Hero overcome? Will God’s plan be thwarted? Will evil be revealed and overthrown?
“Little children,” John writes, “you are from God and have overcome … for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).