PEACE IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE

Scripture Reading:  John 16:25-33

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart, I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

Jesus has just given His disciples some troubling news:  “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave Me alone.  Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me” (v. 32).  Jesus was warning His disciples that tribulation was on the way.

Jesus used this situation to inform His disciples and us about two important facts:  “In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart, I have overcome the world.”  We will face tribulation while we are in this world.  We will suffer, face opposition, experience pain and grief, be hurt and disappointed and face death.  All these things are consequences of living in a fallen world.  Christians are not exempt from them.

Then Jesus goes on to say:  “But take heart, I have overcome the world.”  Although we will experience tribulation in the world, Jesus has already overcome the world.  Our destiny has been established.  He will deliver us from our troubles and restore all things: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (I Peter 5:10).  We live in light of this future hope and glory.  God has called us to His eternal glory in Christ.  We will share in that glory and He will restore us and make all things right again!

Jesus said these words so that we can have peace in the midst of our troubles.  We are destined for glory:  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).  Jesus has already overcome the world.  We are more than conquerors now (Romans 8:37).  After we have suffered a little while, God Himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us.  We are safe and secure in His hands and no one can snatch us from them (John 10:28).  Because of these truths, we can experience the peace of Christ in the midst of our times of tribulation.

Lord Jesus, thank you for preparing me for the troubles I will face.  I know that they may be severe at times.  But I also know that I am safe and secure in Your hands.  I can have peace in the midst of my troubles because You have already overcome the world and have destined me for glory.

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