A Word from Pastor Stephen – May 29, 2020
“I have said these things to you, that in me you have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)
How true is the phrase “in the world you will have tribulation?” The word tribulation means a state of great trouble or suffering. Many people are suffering because of the pandemic. The coronavirus seems to have changed the world in a very short period of time. People are fearful of getting sick or having a loved one succumb to the illness. We are suffering through economic turmoil and record unemployment. Our society is fractured politically and divided in so many ways. Tribulation seems to be everywhere you turn.
Jesus makes a stark contrast with this tribulation in this verse. The world may be full of trouble and suffering, but if you remain in Jesus “you have peace.” In this passage, Jesus was talking to his disciples. Jesus knew that when he ascended to heaven, they would face all manner of tribulation as they spread the Good News of Jesus. All but one of the disciples would meet a martyr’s end. We are never exempted from trouble, but we have someone that will carry us through anything.
This is a beautiful promise you can hold onto in spite of everything that may be swirling around in your life at the moment. Do you trust this promise? Do you believe this promise? No matter what uncertainty, chaos or trouble that is going on in your world, what does Jesus tell you to do? “Take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus is on the throne. You have a sure foundation to stand on. Your future is secure. You really can “take heart” and live boldly and with confidence. This world (and you) belongs to Jesus. Go and bring peace to a world that needs it. Amen.