This verse has been on my mind a lot lately. Trouble. Trouble never seems to be far away these days. I don't know about you, but my mind often seems to be thinking and churning about the troubles in our world, and right now there are a lot of troubles.
I recently found out that my friend's niece has cancer. Trouble. I'm trying to teach Thea how to properly use a spoon, and now food often ends up everywhere. Trouble. A friend of mine no longer wants anything to do with God. Trouble. These are just a few of mine, and I'm sure that your life has its own trouble as well.
One thing that I have been reminded of lately is what Jesus said in this verse: "in this world you WILL have trouble." Jesus was speaking to the disciples before his crucifixion. It was the night that he was betrayed by Judas, and he took the time to serve and then exhort and encourage his closest disciples. And he told them this: they WILL have trouble. Not that they might have trouble or they could have trouble but that in this world they will have trouble. That statement is a promise, and what is true for the disciples is true for us. In this world, we will have trouble. It's inevitable. It's gonna come. It's not going to wait until we're in a good place to handle it either.
Trouble will come.
Well that's depressing.
But Jesus doesn't leave the disciples there and he doesn't leave us there either. Yes, trouble will come, but take heart! Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world.
I wonder what the disciples thought when Jesus said that last part. I wonder if they were confused or if they heard Jesus say those words and wondered the same thing I wonder at times, "How??" How does Jesus overcoming the world give us comfort and hope when we face trouble? What does it mean that Jesus overcame the world?
Well, we could spend a lot of time talking about that, but what we do know is that after the evening in which Jesus spoke this to his disciples, he was brutally crucified on a cross. He was crucified and he died. In this world he had trouble. But that was not the end of the story, because on the third day he rose again and defeated sin and death. Jesus overcame the world. Life this side of heaven, always leads to death, but Jesus overcame death. He overcame the curse over this world.
Most of the troubles that we face in this life are caused by the curse of sin on this world as a result of Adam and Eve's original sin. We see the curse at work everyday. Your computer refuses to connect to the internet. You try to repair a broken relationship, but the other person wants no part of it. Your child disobeys you and lies about it. Your family member or friend gets Covid. This world is full of trouble caused by the curse of sin. And ultimately the curse leads to death literally and figuratively.
BUT Jesus was able to overcome the curse. Death could not hold him. He rose from the dead to a new resurrected life. And the amazing thing is that those that believe in Jesus for salvation from the curse of sin can experience resurrected life as well.
If we believe in Jesus, troubles can no longer affect us the same way. When our computer has issues, it still has issues, but we can patiently work to fix it knowing that one day we will live in a kingdom with Jesus where things will never break. When we experience broken relationships, we can work to repair those relationships but also remember that one day we will live in a kingdom where no relationship will ever be broken again. When our loved ones get sick and maybe even die, we can mourn their death, but also remind ourselves that there is a resurrected world waiting where sickness and death will be no more.
We can have hope when troubles come (and they will come), but we can take heart when we face them knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world. And he offers us a new resurrected world where troubles will be no more.
I hope this reminder encourages you today with whatever troubles you may face. Take heart, my friend. Jesus overcame the world.
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She Laughs Without Fear