Wednesday, December 26, 2018
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In the passage Jesus was concluding the Farewell Discourse, which were His final words for His disciples. This was a heavy night for the disciples as it included Jesus giving a new command for love, foretelling their betrayal, encouraging their troubled hearts and promising the Holy Spirit. Jesus then fittingly ended the night on a note of triumph with John 16:33. After this, Jesus withdrew from the disciples to agonize in prayer in the garden. In this moment Jesus agonized in his own sorrow for what he would soon endure—being forsaken and bearing the world’s sin and shame. He also knew the intense sorrow the disciples would have when He was crucified and gone.
When I (Megan) was seven my mom was in an abusive relationship. I was an only child so I would hide in my room and watch their fights from under my bedroom door. I felt alone and scared. One morning I snuck out, walked into a church and ended up in a sunday school room. The teacher spoke about a man named Jesus who loves us so much. She said he was powerful, that he knew everything and that he was always with us. It was in that moment that He gave me peace in the turmoil. I knew I was no longer alone. My peace was restored when I realized that my mom, our situation and my vulnerability were all in His hands.
In our passage in John 16, just as my own sorrow, Jesus also knew their sorrow would be turned to joy because He would continue seeing them. They may not be able to see Him–but He would continue to see and be with them through the Holy Spirit. This is the source of our joy. We can take heart and live a life of joy knowing that our lives are in His hands and we are never alone.
Lord, thank you for overcoming this world. Restore our childlike faith and help us to glorify you with our lives. May the joy that only comes from knowing you fill us this Christmas season and the days that follow.
Contributed by Drew & Megan Smith