Here is one of Paul’s prayers for the Ephesians: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Margaret Feinberg is a teacher and writer who was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the midst of her difficulty she decided to adopt a strategy: To fight back with joy.
On her first visit to a possible oncologist, she surprised the doctor with something unique. Before she put on her hospital gown, she wrote a single word across her chest. It was a kind of litmus test to see whether or not the doctor would be a good fit for her personality and for her approach. But it was also meant to remind both of them, in a joyful way, of the big picture. What was that word?
What are you dealing with? Family problems? Health problems? Mental health challenges? Friend problems? Career problems? Money problems? Frustration? Feeling different because of your faith? A past that won’t stop haunting you? Consequences of bad decisions? Guilt? Loneliness? All of the above?
Remember the big picture: In Christ, the victory is yours! “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Don’t be afraid to laugh in the face of hardship—and to fight back with the joy of knowing and trusting Jesus.
By Matthew Ruttan
–I’m away this coming week so “Up!” will go on pause after today, resuming on Monday, February 3
––What is the “Good News”? That’s my latest blog. It’s wildly central to our faith. This post takes a look at the background to the word “euangelion” which is often translated as “good news” or “gospel,” some misunderstandings, and the significance for our faith today.
—Here’s a 50-second YouTube video about my next teaching series called “Mature,” starting on February 9.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–*As told in: Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy (Brentwood: Worthy, 2015), 26-28.