Sometimes life is a struggle. It can be filled with obstacles. We can be confused, discouraged, attacked, in grief. Where do we find the encouragement to overcome a world that seems to be against us?
This was exactly Jesus’ concern the night before his death. He wanted to encourage the apostles. In fact, John’s gospel records several chapters of Jesus’ encouragement, beginning in chapter 13. Jesus knew the apostles would be shocked that one of them would betray him and later the one they thought strongest would deny him three times. Jesus knew they would be scattered and leave him alone. He knew they would be confused. They would weep and mourn at his arrest and death. But he told them their mourning would be turned to joy. Jesus warned them that the world would hate them and persecute them. They would be kicked out of the synagogue. People would attempt to kill them in the name of God. They were facing a troubled future without Jesus walking beside them.
So what would encourage them? The key words are in John 16:33, “Take heart!” Jesus said. “I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
Does it feel like the world is against you? Whatever struggles or obstacles you are facing in life, remember that Jesus has already overcome the world. As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV) This week, let’s focus on overcoming the struggles we face.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.