Daily Devotionals

Friday, January 7

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

Our meteorologists have gotten really good at predicting the weather, including predicting storms. These predictions help us prepare for bad weather, especially storms of any kind. Unfortunately, the storms of life are not as predictable. The storms of life that come can happen suddenly and unexpectedly and threaten to shake our foundation if we are not careful. The truth is, although the moment when the storms of life come upon us may be unexpected, Scripture teaches us that as long as we are living on this earth, we can expect storms. While we may not know when they are coming, knowing that this life brings storms can help us prepare in advance when these storms come. 

 Jesus Himself taught his disciples that storms and difficult times were bound to come for everyone during life on this earth. In John 16, he explained to them some of the difficulties that were to come. He taught them, “For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (verse 2). Storms were coming, and Jesus made sure that His disciples knew it. He did not want them to be surprised when trials and suffering came. But, he also wanted something else for them: peace. He concluded His teaching by explaining why He told them about the coming difficulties. He said, “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” (verse 33). Jesus made it clear: this world brings difficult times, whether storms or trials or other kinds of suffering. But, He also promised peace through it all. How did He promise peace? He offered peace through an incredible promise: He had overcome the world. Notice that Jesus had already overcome the world. It has already been done. Christ has overcome the world, and we can have peace because of that.  

The same promise Jesus offered His disciples is true for us today. Yes, we will have trouble as long as we live in this world. Pain will come. Trials will come. We have this promise despite all of these things: Christ has overcome the world. He is the one who brings peace, even on our darkest days.

Moving Toward Action

Scripture makes it clear that storms will come. We may not know when, but they will come. How does learning to expect storms help you walk through them when they come? Take some time now to think about how you can prepare for these storms in advance, starting today. Next, spend some time praying. As you pray, thank God for the promise that although we will have troubles in this world, Christ has overcome the world. Finally, pray for remembering the ways God has taken care of you during previous storms that you have faced. How does this give you hope in the storm you are currently facing or will face in the future?

Going Deeper

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.”