Friday, February 21, 2014
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV).
While there is turmoil outside, there need not be any inside.
Trouble—such is the lot of sinners in a fallen creation. Job spoke firsthand, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not” (Job 14:1,2). A human’s earthly life is ever so brief, and sin makes it ever so complicated.
In the context of today’s Scripture, our Lord Jesus is preparing His apostles to bear the worst life experience they have known. They do not understand it yet, but they will soon witness horrific events—Messiah’s arrest, torture, and death by crucifixion. Their King will perish, and their whole world will be destroyed. In the verse preceding today’s Scripture, Jesus says, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (verse 32). Not too far into the future, all of Jesus’ followers will abandon Him, terrified of the Roman and Jewish governments.
Today’s Scripture is actually the conclusion of Jesus’ departing words to His Jewish believers (He started in John 14:1: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me”). He also told them, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Israel’s Little Flock would have difficult days ahead, but, “in Christ,” they would have God’s peace. Likewise, in this world filled with grief, uncertainty, and suffering, “the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace in believing [God’s Word to you, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon], that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). 🙂