Jesus tells all His disciples: “You’re going to run into trouble. The world’s going to throw a lot at you. Hostility. Heartache. Heavy loads.”
“I have told you all these this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Does it mean [Christ] no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:35, 37)
The key to our victory is Jesus Christ. No matter what comes at us. His words, “I’ve told you all these things…” end His farewell instructions to the eleven disciples (although they don’t know yet that it is farewell.) John 14, 15, and 16 lay down a solid path to peace and victory even though Jesus would be physically absent from them.
It’s also our path to peace and victory.
“Trust me,” He says. “Trust God. And following me will bring you to God.”
I’m going away for a while, but I’ll be back.
Remember what I’ve taught you about loving each other.
Listen to the Helper I’m going to send. He’ll teach you too and help you to remember.
Stay connected to me.
Don’t be shocked when the world hates you. It hates me, too.
Yes, there will be suffering, tears, and trouble, but fantastic joy will come after that.
“And take heart. Don’t give up. Because I have overcome the world.”
Those words were also spoken for us today. What do they mean to you?
I’m still asking to be taught everything Jesus was saying with those words. I imagine it will take all of life and death until I understand fully.
But I do know this: Jesus said He holds supreme power. Over anything and everything that life in this world throws at me. He is the way I’ve chosen, the truth I believe, and the only one who can give me life.
So when He says to take heart because He holds triumph and victory, I believe that is reality. I believe God prepares feasts for me in the very presence of my enemies. And I want to stay so closely connected to Him that I can live according to that reality.
May the Lord send you help in times of trouble.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory…
and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
(from Psalm 20)
I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord.
You are my refuge. Don’t let them kill me.
MORE: 1 Chronicles 5:20; Psalm 9:9-10; Psalm 18; Psalm 20:1-5; Psalm 23:5; Psalm 25:14-16, 20; Psalm 28:7-8a; Psalm 31:1-5; Psalm 33:18-22; Psalm 34:6; Psalm 54:7; Psalm 56:9; Psalm 59:9-10; Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8; Psalm 63:7-8; Psalm 91:2-3, 9-10; Psalm 105:4; Psalm 141:8; Psalm 143:9; Proverbs 18:10; Isaiah 40:29, 31a; Isaiah 41:11-16; John 16:33; Romans 6:6-7, 10-11; Romans 8:2, 26, 35, 37; 1 Corinthians 1:7-9; 1 Corinthians 10:12-13; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Ephesians 6:10-13; Galatians 5:16; Philippians 4:6-7, 13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 5; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 2:16-18; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 1:2-5, 12; James 4:7; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12-13; 1 Peter 5:8-9a; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 2 Peter 2:9; 1 John 4:4-5.
© Elaine Starner 2015