What is the difference between a major and minor surgery? It depends, is it you or is it me?
As for me, I try to keep things in perspective as I pray. More often than I willing to admit, I fail here, but I try. I ask myself, how can I worry about something as minuscule as cancer when in comparison: (1) Jesus went to the cross and bore all my sins; (2) there is an opportunity to win over one more lost soul; or (3) when there is an opportunity to be the catalyst to cause a complacent and lukewarm Christian to re-engage and fight the right fight?
Don't misunderstand, I want and expect to be completely healed, but not just for me. I want to be healed for you as well. I want you to be part of the miracle. I want Jesus to be glorified. May everything, I do be for His purpose, so I never lose perspective.
Jesus ends John 16, verse 33 by saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Think about these words. He told us in advance that we would have trouble, so that, in Him we may have peace. He didn’t say He would take it away and He didn’t say that He wouldn’t, just that you will find peace in Him and nowhere else.
He then takes the time to dedicate chapter 17 to praying for himself, but not as a checklist of things He needs, but to point to God our Father and His glory.
John 17:1 NIV After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” Here He reminds us that our goal is to do what He did. We are to use every life experience to bring glory to God. If only, we could remember to ask ourselves every time, “What would Jesus Do?” and then actually do it. I don’t know about you, but I need a lot of work in the 'remembering department', so that I don’t get caught up fulfilling the wrong purpose.
Why would Jesus warns us in advance? Because this world is a battlefield where the forces under Satan’s power and those under God’s authority are at war. This is a real war and you are the subject being attacked – believe it. Satan wants you to join him in fighting against God and his authority. Satan will do everything and anything to distract you from your purpose. Satan will even get you to focus on your cancer (or whatever your greatest trial is – you know what it is - so name it and let go of it), rather than singing praises and thanking Him for his goodness. Satan wants you and I to steal God’s glory. Jesus prayed for his disciples, including those of us that follow Him today. He prayed that God would keep His believers safe from Satan’s power, setting them apart and making them pure and holy, uniting them through his truth.
Thank you to all our “Prayer Warriors”. God loves to hear our voices in prayer! Thank you for talking to Him on our behalf, in Jesus’s name. Also, thank you for all the ‘amazing acts of kindness’ that so many have blessed us with. It is overwhelming, incredibly humbling and beyond measure. We love all of you very much, but the good news is Jesus loves you even more.
In closing, I want to give a shout-out to my future son-in-law, Jarrod Markley, for inspiring the idea that we all need to “Fight for the King” and for my daughter, Heather O’Keefe, for her inspiration to use Acts 20:24 to develop a t-shirt to remind us all of our purpose, which is to bring glory to Jesus.
Acts 20:24 NLT “I consider my life worth nothing to me, my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task, the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the Good News of God’s grace.”
TOM O'KEEFE BLOG