I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33
My wife and I often have a hard time taking my son Samuel to the dentist. He doesn't like anyone prodding and probing through his mouth. When he was little, we went through over three dentists that refused to treat him because he was way too wiggly. When we finally found our current dentist, it took a lot to get Sam even to walk into the office. He knew the pain that awaited him and even after promising gifts or prizes, we couldn't get him to budge. Finally, we found the right dentist that was gentle and kind (also with plenty of electronics and movies) that Sam trusted. Trust was the key to breaking through all of his worries.
When Jesus looked at the disciples the night before He willingly died on the cross, He saw both worry and concern. He knew that they were scared about what the future might hold. He also knew that His disciples were going to run away and scatter after He was arrested in the garden. Through His teaching in John chapters 13-16, He was trying to reassure them that everything was going to be okay. Like a loving father coaching his children before they go to the dentist, Jesus is helping them to prepare for what was coming. He ends the teaching segment by reminding them that they can have peace even in the midst of their suffering. This peace came as a result of remaining close to Jesus and relying on the power that comes through the Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted the disciples to know that no matter what they were going to face, they were not going to be alone. He went first and overcame the world through dying on the cross, and then gave us the Holy Spirit to live inside us so we can have peace.
One of the ways that Sam made it through the dentist office is that we would go with him to every appointment and hold his hand. When Sam would get scared, my wife would remind him that she was right by his side. In that same way, when we go through difficulty, we don't go through them alone. The God of all creation is on our side. His goodness and mercy is our refuge and strength!
Moving Toward Action
The best way that you can work through all your worries and concerns is to face them head-on. If you try to avoid them, you will only make matters worse. People do die. Couples get divorced. Kids have accidents. Stocks plunge. Companies go bankrupt. Jobs are lost. Today, take some time to face your worries head on and ask God to hold you through the valley that you are up against. Write out a prayer asking God for strength.
Read John 16:16-33 (NLT)
“In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”
Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
“I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
©2022 Sagebrush Church