Read: John 16:16-33
Key Verse: v33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
What Does it Mean?
In this world we will have trouble – Jesus doesn’t pretend otherwise. The NLT translates this as “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows” (v33). It’s a part of living in a fallen world that we cannot avoid. However, unlike non-believers, we don’t have to get caught up in anxiety about the troubles that we have to face, because we know that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to give us a hope, and a reason to rejoice even in the midst of our difficulties. Jesus declares that He has overcome the world (v33); He defeated death to give us the promise of eternity in Heaven, where there will be no more tears and pain (Revelation 21:4). The troubles that we face in this life are temporary, and Jesus tells us that we will forget the pain and anguish we go through because we can rejoice about eternity, much like a mother forgets about the pain of childbirth once she holds her child in her arms. To put it simply, the forthcoming joy completely eclipses the pain and anguish. In the midst of storms, we can easily feel downhearted and overwhelmed, but when we fix our eyes on eternity, which is the hope that is the anchor for our souls, we find that no matter what the circumstances we have access to a reserve of joy – which Jesus declares that no one can take away (v22). Trouble persists, and it will until we reach Heaven, but we can rejoice in spite of it.
Just as a mother forgets the pain of childbirth once she holds her child in her arms, we can forget the pain or anguish of our storms when we keep our focus firmly fixed on our future – eternity in Heaven with God. Jesus says that “no one will take away your joy” (v22), and we can stand on this promise, because we know that no matter what we face in this life, our victory has already been secured by Jesus, and we have much to rejoice about when we look beyond our immediate circumstances.
Journaling and Reflection
- Jesus says that we can have peace regardless of what circumstances we face, because He has overcome the world, and we have the hope of eternity to hold onto. How do you feel about this? Is it easy or difficult for you to rejoice in the midst of your trials? Why?
- Re-read verses 21-24. How do these verses make you feel? Why?
- The disciples found it difficult to understand what Jesus was saying. Are there times when you find it difficult to understand what God is saying or doing in your life? How do you respond at these times? Why?
Father God, thank You that You give me a reason to rejoice even in the midst of the storms of life. Help me to keep my eyes firmly fixed on the source of my joy, that I may have peace at all times. Amen.