When The World Freaks Out, The Christian Knows It Is Only A 'Little While'

Text: John 16:16-22

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Life is tough. It is not a leisurely walk in the park. We struggle to get along with our neighbors. We struggle with our health. People die around us. And to make things worse, sprinkle in the Corona Virus, Riots. Political unrest, and cyber warfare from China! Again, life is tough.  
And for us Christians? It is tough for us as well. Along with the rest of the world, we suffer. We have no choice in this matter.  
You see, Jesus never promised you and me that this Christian life would be easy. Contrary to what those pastoral frauds on late-night religious television programs say, we do not consistently experience spiritual victory over sin, death, and the Devil. Contrary to what those hip and cool celebrity pastors say, we Christians cave to sin time and time again, even after we promise God that we would never do a particular sin again. And those arrogant Christians who smile a lot and walk with an appearance of holiness, claiming that they have complete spiritual victory in their lives? Well, they are lying to you and themselves. Again, Jesus never promised you and me that this life would be easy.

However, with that said, keep in mind that Jesus did promise you and me that this tough life would only be a little while. Yes, you heard that correctly, this life under the sun - with its suffering, toil, and heartaches – will only be a little while.  
Now, there is a lot for us to consider in Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John, where he speaks the words “a little while” seven times. Today, though, we will not consider these words according to pastoral frauds, celebrity pastors, and arrogant Christians for they deny the suffering, toil, and heartaches of the little while. More often than not, the Devil has these people so blinded, dumb, and na├»ve to their sins that any attention given to them is a waste of time. And so, we pray that the eyes of these individuals would open to the reality that they are poor miserable sinners, like the rest of us Christians. 
So, considering all of this, how are the rest of us, Christians, to understand Jesus’ words of “a little while?” 
Today, Jesus is speaking to us that the sorrows of this life under the sun last only a little while, while the future joys of eternity will last forever. This should strengthen our faith, give us joy and contentment.
But, as you already know, we Christians are often not encouraged. We do not have the joy down in our hearts. The reason why this is the case is that we often get sucked into the ways of the world.
Keep in mind that the world does not understand that this life under the sun is only a little while. In fact, most non-Christians do everything possible to deny the fact of death. Seriously, just listen to the news and listen to our leaders. Many of them talk as if they are going to live forever. 

And so, if you get wooed into believing like the world, you can easily forget that you are mortal and that this world you live in is a little while. You can easily believe the myth that you are immortal and that this life under the sun will go on forever, which results in becoming easily overwhelmed with the sufferings, toils, and heartaches of life.  
Let me try and explain this as simply as possible. Suppose you do everything possible to deny the reality of death and believe that this life under the sun will go on forever. In that case, each additional hardship is like an additional weight that pushes down upon you. Without the reality that the hardships of life are only a little while, every little thing in life becomes one big crisis. Instead of hardships pointing you outside of this life under the sun to future joy, the hardships can turn you inward, which results in even more pain. 
Let’s think of it this way.  A mother in labor for the first time may feel like the pain is lasting for an eternity. But if you talk to that same mother when she is pregnant with her fourth child, she may say, 
“Childbirth is not fun, but it only lasts a little while.”  
And so, the point being, the pain is the exact same in both scenarios, but in the mother’s fourth birth, she knows that when the baby is born that the new baby immediately wipes out the memory of pain. She knows that the pain is only a little while.  
The point being, the world does not believe in Christ or in the fact that Jesus is coming back to make all things new. And so, the world lives like it is in constant labor with no end in sight. The world freaks out with each additional contraction. Every hardship becomes a crisis. Every sorrow becomes an opportunity to break down. Every pain becomes a disaster.  
Dear friends, God will often deliver us from various sufferings, toils, and heartaches of life; however, there are many times where He does not. For those times where He does, God be praised. We are blessed. But for the times He does not, we can easily feel like the-little-while-of-our-suffering is an eternity. If not careful, we can go the way of the world and forget that our struggles are only a little while, and then in our pain, we can begin to turn inward on ourselves. That is right; in pain, we turn inward. And once we are turned inward, our vision becomes nearsighted. We lose the perspective of eternity. And soon, hope turns to hopelessness, joy turns to bitterness, and assurance turns to fear.  
Beloved Baptized Saints, hear this! No matter your suffering, no matter you toil, and no matter your heartaches, Jesus says it does not last forever. You are not stuck forever in this world with its traps, struggles, and anguish. You will not be in a battle forever with a devil that taunts you. You will not have to live forever with sin that plagues your conscience. You will not have a raincloud of sorrow hovering over your head forever. 
Suffering beloved Baptized Saints, your Jesus calls you to look outside of yourself to Him, for He is your forgiveness, life, and salvation. He calls you today to look outside your sufferings, toils, and heartaches to hear right now that this life under the sun does not last forever. There is an end. There is an end to your tears. There is an end to your suffering. There is an end to your persecution. There is an end to your sin, pain, and the Devil himself. It is only a little while. 

Baptized Saints, never forget that your joy as a Christian is not anchored upon the circumstances of this life under the sun. Your assurance as a Christian is not dependent on your feelings in this life under the sun. Your hope as a Christian is not in the amount of money, material goods, or riches you have in this life under the sun. Heaven’s no!
Indeed, as a Christian, you live outside of yourself in the reality of Christ and His unbreakable promises for you. Sure, you have emotions, feelings, suffering, and anguish. Yes, you will continue to live life under the sun in the here and now. However, the Lord will continue to drive you away from yourself to the reality of your identity, hope, assurance in Christ, as well as your future with Him in a new heaven and earth.
This is the reason why there is never an emergency for the Christian or the Church. As a Christian, you know the end of the story. It is already set. No matter if you bask in the sunlight of glory or are shattered on the rocks of sorrow, Christ is the end. He holds you. He will not forsake you.  

And so, patiently endure misfortunes in this life under the sun. Comfort yourself with Jesus’ Word that this life is only a little while. Know that as tough as it gets in this life, the Lord holds the beginning and the end.

It is just a little while, and then you will see Jesus face to face, and your sorrows, sadness, and pain will be turned into joy - a joy that no one will be able to rob from you.

Be patient. Take courage. Wait it out. You are not alone.  It does not last forever.  It is only a little while. 

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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