John 16:33 “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.”
I thought I would be able to write on a different verse from this section, but this verse is too powerful a magnet for my soul! I have quoted it countless times, in messages, counseling, and conversations with both believers and nonbelievers. It is still apropos today! The world is more than full of things that steal our peace, and it has been that way ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Most people spend their lives searching for peace, and many never find it at all. We try to anesthetize ourselves with various things, creating a temporary, false “peace,” but true inner peace comes only through Jesus Christ. There is a worship song, He Is Our Peace, (that is actually better in the Japanese translation) based on Ephesians 2:14, that sings about this. Paul also famously wrote to the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) As Jesus says so clearly in the second half of this verse, trouble, which triggers anxiety, is part of the human condition. However, if we are anchored in Him, who has already won the victory, we can have peace and boldness regardless of our circumstances.
Any more, a “news feed” is more like an “anxiety feed.” Today is the 20th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in history, and the events of the past few months have certainly not engendered any sort of peace, either. I find that I skim over much of the news that comes in, because if I dwell on it it’s too depressing. The saddest thing is that it’s people doing things to people, totally blinded and deceived by the devil. And the minute someone points that out, someone else will say, “What makes you so certain you’re right?” There is an all-out assault on truth itself, to the point that even basic biology is denied, and that makes for lots of “trouble.” I am not to ignore the junk, but neither am I to focus on it. My focus must be on Jesus Christ my Lord, because only in Him can I have the peace, and the victory, that I desire. I have no idea what all I will have to go through in this world, but that is ultimately of no consequence. As again Paul wrote, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Father, thank You for this very timely reminder. Even passages that are deeply ingrained in me can bring fresh blessing! I do pray for the many who are commemorating the World Trade Center attack, and I pray that Your kingdom, that is, Your rule and reign, would be established on this earth as Your will is done, by Your children first and by all of creation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!