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
I don’t ever remember a more difficult year. You?
It’s been a real nail-biter.
It’s probably going to be a cliff-hanger, too—because I doubt all this mess will be cleaned up by day’s end. Questions and anxiety will likely linger long after midnight.
How did you fare this year, friend?
Did you feel prepared for any of it? Prepared to navigate what the world threw at you?
I don’t believe I could have been prepared to endure any of it without faith in the sovereign Lord. Even then, my heart went reeling and racing every now and then.
But Jesus tells us to take heart—that we can have peace in Him.
Bring it all to him, friend.
We can lament the brokenness of this world. The psalmists did. And quite remarkably, I might add. And we can grieve at the amount of real suffering found around every bend. We can add petitions for mercy and healing. For peace and strength. And we can hold onto hope and trust in God.
We could be bitter. But it would be far better if we were prepared. Prepared for the world—in order to win the world.
We don’t have to love this world. Attain it, aggrandize it, or idolize it. But we do have to love those in it.
Equal to the brokenness of the world are the people living in it. And much of what the world throws at you comes from others. Which requires the mind of Christ. His virtues that help us endure much of what gets thrown our way are those of patience, forgiveness, and grace.
Jesus, enduring even greater trials, overcame this troublesome world. And He has done much to provide for our overcoming, as well.
Having His perspective also helps. Jesus knew where He came from. He knew to whom He belonged. And where He was going. He also knows what’s in the heart of humans. But He remained focused on the Father . . . and loved folks all along the arduous way.
To live in this world, and to overcome this world, we must be prepared by the Word, the Spirit, and prayer.
We are prepared when we have the attitude of Christ. Then mirror His heart (rather than mirror the world). For it is His love that will make all the difference in this world.
That is the good that can come out of this hard year—and affect all the days that follow.