Read: John 16, Psalm 16
Who: Who wrote this book? Who did they write it to? What was their reason for writing?
What: What does this passage say about God, me, and my relationship with him?
The verse that stood out to me today is John 16:33
““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.”
Jesus just finishes explaining His purpose to the disciples. He tells them about sending the Holy Spirit or “Advocate” as He says. He tells them that the Spirit will guide them, just as it’s guided HIm. He speaks of the world’s hatred of Him and His followers, it’s a download of info and then He says, if I may paraphrase; “Following me isn’t going to be easy, but just wait, it’s worth it!
Why: Why is the truth important?
I just watched a movie with my dad tonight about the soldiers who went into Afghanistan right after 9/11. In a scene where the captain is speaking with the Afghani leader they’re working with, the leader tells the captain, “You fight because the life you love is more appealing than the afterlife. You fear dying, so you fight to live. These men (Al Qaeda) fight because their afterlife is more appealing than this one they are living.” (Yes I wrote it down during the movie.)
I got excited when I heard that quote because as followers of Jesus, we have the best of both. We don’t have to fear this life because Jesus has already won, AND we get a super rad eternity with Him where we will see Him face to face! How cool is that????
Let me be real for a moment: The truth is, this life is difficult. We face hardships on a daily basis. Believers all over the world are persecuted for their faith; some are even martyred. On a smaller scale, but still not easy, we face persecution in our own country at times because we believe in the name of Jesus. Some of us are even persecuted in our families because of our faith.
This truth that Jesus states in this verse is important because it gives us hope.
We have an eternity awaiting us that promises the goodness and love of God to never end. But we also have the promise that Jesus will be with us right now.
We have access to the peace of God at all times. Why? Because He says so… “I have told you these things, (the promise of His Holy Spirit, the power of His name. The joy of knowing the Father…) so that you may have peace…”
How: How would my life, character and perspective be different if I truly believed this truth?
If we lived this way, I believe we’d see more people follow Jesus. I mean, who wouldn’t want 24/7 peace? Or a confidence that no matter what happens, God loves you completely.
Making this personal, if I lived this way, life itself would look very different. I’m thankful for the reminder because it means that no matter what the situation, it is never without hope or the rich presence of God in my life.
Jesus, thank you for your life. Thank you for loving me just as I am. Thank you for giving your life in exchange for mine. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit, hope, and the promise of eternity. Help us to rest in your peace, to remember that you’ve already overcome the world, and that eternity starts now. Help each of us, to live on purpose. Amen.
Awed by grace,
Kimberly E. Webb
Kimberly Webb is the extremely gifted youth pastor at Redemption Church Charlottesville. She is a speaker, singer, and lover of people with a heart to serve God no matter where she is in the world.