Recently someone called my attention to the Serenity Prayer which most of us know and have prayed:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
This prayer is a very Biblical approach to life—accepting life events that we can’t control. Jesus taught us, “In this world you will have troubles …” --John 16: 33a. We can’t keep difficulties away. They will come. Some troubles we cause ourselves. But many happen just because we live in an evil and fallen world. Job 5:7 reminds us, “Mankind is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” It is irrational to suppose that we will escape trouble.
But Jesus didn’t leave it there. He said in the 2nd half of John 16:33, “…But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” Christ’s Resurrection has unleashed God’s power into the world. Christ is alive and his resurrection power working in us will help us overcome trials. Christ will strengthen us to endure. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13.
God will help us be strong in the time of testing. “God is faithful and will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” –I Corinthians 10:13. This means that in Christ I will come through trouble and not be overwhelmed by it. His strength will always be sufficient for my need.
So, we are overcomers. Nothing can defeat us. Christ’s power is sufficient!
By the way, there is more to the Serenity Prayer. It ends with,
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that you will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happily in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen