July 18, 2018
“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.” – John 16.33
The words of Jesus in John 16:33 hold a promise for us, but not the kind of promise we usually like to quote from Scripture. You see, the promise in this verse is that we will have suffering. It is part of life in a broken world. You can bank on it. But there is also a great opportunity in this verse; Jesus tells us that we can have peace through the trials, if we are in Him. And His reasoning comes through the incredibly audacious statement, “I have overcome the world.”
Why is this an audacious statement? Because, even though in the context Jesus is about to face the mockery and brutality of the cross, He makes this statement in the past tense; “I have already overcome.” You see, Jesus was not exempt from trials. He was a man very familiar with suffering, pain, and grief (Isaiah 53:3). So why should we take heart? Because, as Leon Morris says; “The cross would seem to the outsider to be Jesus’ total defeat. He sees it as his complete victory over all that the world is and can do to him. He goes to the cross not in fear or in gloom, but as a conqueror.”
Everyone will experience trials and suffering. It is inescapable. But everyone can also experience the peace that is available in and through Jesus Christ. And as we live in that peace, we get to follow Christ in becoming conquerors, even in the midst of our darkest trial.
Heavenly Father, help us to never be caught off guard by our trials, but always find our peace and victory in the Cross of Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon