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T. K. O.

Remember the movie "Forrest Gump"? His mom liked to tell him, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." Unfortunately, life's little surprises aren't always sweet...

Imagine that life is a boxing ring. You are in the ring with an opponent that you can't see. You put your arms in front of your face to avoid a right hook. But then, out of nowhere comes a sucker punch to the gut. While you're distracted, your invisible opponent lands another one square on your jaw. Before you can even attempt to put up a fight, another blow is delivered to the ribs. As you weaken, the unseen attacker takes advantage of the moment and pummels you until you are reduced to a quivering mass of bruised flesh. The fight has left you so exhausted that you no longer have the strength to stand.

Life can do that to you.... Loss of a job. Broken families. Life-threatening illnesses. Betrayal by a loved one. Debts that never seem to end. Sucker punches... each and every one of them. Some of them are so devastating that they seem impossible to overcome.

If you read the Book of Job in the Bible, you'll find that he was a man who understood what it meant to have troubles. Livestock was stolen. Servants slain. Freak storm took the lives of his children. Painful boils that covered his body from head to toe. And the final sucker punch... his wife tells him to "curse God and die".

Now, picture yourself back in that boxing ring again. This time, from out of the corner of your eye, you notice that Someone has stepped into the ring with you. Suddenly, your opponent who had been invisible to you before, is standing in front of you as plain as day. The new arrival walks surely and swiftly to face your opponent. Within a matter of seconds, he punches your opponent with so much force that the once brutal attacker is swept off of his feet and lands with a thud on the mat. You notice that there is no movement and not a sound comes from his lips. The Ref pronounces that it was a total knock out.

You see, this is the very reason that Jesus came to Earth. That wondrous Christmas Day, He came to our world as a baby. He spent the next 33 years teaching all who were willing to listen and healing all of those that believed. One of His messages to his followers addressed the myriad of troubles we all face. John 16:33 says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." And overcome it He did the day that He was crucified on the Cross.

For all who believe in Him, although we will not escape hardships in this world, He is, and will for eternity, be our greatest defender.

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