The gates of hell shall not prevail

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18 NRSV)

When I am tempted to feel discouraged about the persecution against the church, against Christianity, against all that is good, decent, right and true, I remember the words of Jesus. He tells us that He will prevail, that Satan has limited time, and that He (Jesus) is in charge! I would reword/summarize this Bible verse and state that evil shall not prevail.

It seems like we hear about abortion, adultery, alcoholism, corruption, drug dealing, serious illness, shootings, terrorism–to name but a few bad things–on a daily basis. Remember that Jesus and good will prevail. The last foe that He will conquer is death itself. 1 Corinthians 15:55-56 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

During this Advent season, let us turn to the Price of Peace, Jesus Christ, for our comfort and hope. He is the Light of the World, the way out of darkness. Take courage, and do not be discouraged, for our King will prevail!

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Worry vs. Belief

“Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.” (Tim Keller).

When I saw this quote, it made so much sense. What a great definition! I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it difficult to trust God 100% of the time. In the process of writing my first book From Agnostic to Deacon, A Story of Hope and Conversion, I had the opportunity to look back over our life together as husband and wife and marvel at God’s (perfect) timing. In spite of this, however, I am human and therefore have that imperfect trust and anxiety, which will probably be there until I die. I have to remind myself again and again that God sees the entire picture, and because of His love He wants only what is best for me. In my limited view, I do not see things in their entirety. Something I want or think I need may turn out to be bad for me.

I find the following scripture very comforting when I am anxious. I hope you do as well:

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13 (NRSV)

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Jesus the Servant

Holy Week is just around the corner, and I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the scripture passage about Jesus’ washing His disciples’ feet. I am reminded of a song that we sing in our choir entitled “The Servant Song.” The song is quite beautiful and moving. (For copyright reasons, I cannot quote you the exact words.) Kevin and I had sung it a number of times before we learned that this song is sometimes sung at weddings. We truly had not thought of it being used in that way, but we realized how appropriate it was. The song asks if you will let me be your servant, be as Christ to you. Then the composer asks for the grace to let others serve him. It tells how we travel this earthly journey together, and we are here to help each other in whatever way that we can. We can encourage others, give them comfort in their fear. It speaks of sharing our joys, fears, sorrows and laughter until we’ve seen our earthly journey through.

It’s very humbling to have someone else do things for us, to let them ‘serve’ us. It requires swallowing our pride. Do you recall St. Peter’s reaction to Christ washing his feet? At first, he wouldn’t let Jesus do it. Only after Christ explained why He was doing it did Peter let Him. Will we let others serve us when it is appropriate and needed or will we be stubborn and prideful, deny others the opportunity? Christ never meant us to walk this life alone. That’s why He gave us each other. So, let’s walk the journey together as companions, travelers on the road of life.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Even though I walk through the darkest valley (Psalm 23:4 NRSV)

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

All of us, sooner or later, face something that’s not pleasant, a loved one’s or our own bad health, an accident, addiction, or whatever life throws at us. It’s a dark time, and we need to slow down and feel His presence. Whether we sense Him there or not, He will be there to comfort us, console us, and help us through whatever it is that darkens our life. So, let us turn to our “light of the world” Jesus Christ and let Him show us the way out of the darkness.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams