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 (John 16:33)
Trouble is part of being alive. Jesus told his followers what to expect so that they could have peace in the midst of trouble. I like that.
Difficult times do not catch God by surprise. In the context of this verse Jesus had just predicted that everyone would leave him all alone. Then he said, “Yet, I am not alone for my Father is with me.”
Imagine that you were one of the disciples hearing Jesus lovingly say to you, “You will leave me all alone.” That just goes against everything within me. I imagine that I might tell Jesus, like Peter did, not me Lord! “Though everyone abandons you I will not.” But Jesus would know otherwise. Jesus was prepared for the worst. He was prepared for rejection by friends.
The irony is that Jesus died for everyone, but he did it alone.
Prepare yourself to be at peace even though you will have trouble. Jesus did not say to his followers that they ‘might have,’ or ‘were likely to have’ trouble. He said that they would have trouble. He sounds pretty certain to me.
Maybe you can be grateful for the heads up on this one. Now that you know that you will have trouble (in various shapes and sizes for sure, but trouble none the less) know this: the only reason he wanted you to know was so that you would find your peace, your calm, in him.
When you have trouble in your world of family, marriage, finance, church or business remember that you can also find peace ‘in Jesus.’ He is a friend who will never leave you.
A prayer: Master. Thank you for the heads up on the trouble I will face. Thank you for friends who stand with me when there is trouble. Teach me to wait on you. May trouble be the wind that lifts me into your calm presence; in your presence I am courageous and my heart is full. Amen