‘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.’ – John 16.33From Toni Clark:
One thing I am enjoying during lockdown is finding time in the evening and at weekends to sit. I love just sitting in the peace and quiet, and losing myself in a good book. I have just finished a Danish Classic “Lucky Per” – the Danish word “lykke” means both lucky and happiness, and throughout the story Per swings between times of having luck and times of finding happiness amongst the troubles he faced. But one thread that ran throughout the book for me was that he never seemed to find peace. Each time he reached his goal either something would happen, or the outcome wasn’t what he expected, there was no sense of him having peace. (No spoiler alert as to the outcome of the story just in case you decide to read it!).
What I love about John 16.33 is Jesus’ statement that you may have peacein a world of trouble. In this chapter, Jesus has just explained to the disciples what is to come, he is pointing to his death and resurrection, the despair the disciples will feel at that time and the persecution they will suffer in the future. But here in this verse he reassures them that all will be well, because he has overcome the world – he has defeated death and because of his death on the cross for our sins, we will have eternal life. Knowing that should give us peace.
Jesus is saying that no matter what is going on in the world around us, if we believe in Him and have accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour, we know that he is with us always, and that he will never abandon us. Knowing this gives us a sense of peace in the chaos and uncertainty around us. Not that sense of peace I get when I am sat, lost reading a good book, but that sense of perfect peace that only comes from God, the knowledge that we are not alone but that God is with us always – that sense that whatever happens, we will be ok.
At this time of trouble, a time when we may be feeling afraid of what is to come, whether that is illness, uncertainty about our jobs, worry about children or elderly relatives, we can know that Jesus is in control. He has overcome the world and knowing that gives us peace. If you are struggling to find peace in this current trouble, can I encourage you to read this chapter in John’s gospel so that, like the disciples, you can hear the things that Jesus said so that in Him you also may have peace, perfect peace?