“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.”
This is one of the most encouraging verses in all of Scripture to me. Jesus, the son of God, lived as a man on the very same Earth we all live on today for over 30 years. For over 30 years, he was without sin, and he was killed for it. Yet among all of the persecution he faced, he had hope. He had hope because he knew where he came from and where he was going. Whatever he faced on this earth was nothing for him to lose heart over, because he knew that he was doing something far more important and going somewhere far better. He shares that hope with you and me.
The apostle Paul says that the suffering we face on this earth isn’t even worth comparing to the glory of eternal life with God that awaits us who have been saved. That’s exactly what Jesus is trying to tell his disciples in this passage. They don’t know it yet, but Jesus does. He knows what his purpose is and what God’s plan is – that he would be sacrificed for the sins of all mankind. He knows that he will defeat sin and death once and for all, and offer as salvation as a free gift to everyone. To those who accept the gift he offers, life on earth is nothing but grass in the wind. It’s fleeting and transient, while our life in heaven will be permanent and eternal.
We will all face hard times in this world. Jesus said so himself. Our hope isn’t that believing in Jesus will make our lives perfect. Our hope is that by believing in Jesus, it doesn’t matter if life is hard, because a better life is coming. Never forget the hope that we have through him. Our eternal life in the presence of the Almighty God will be far greater than anything we have ever known on earth. Everything else will fade away, no tears will be left, no pain, no sadness. There will be only joy in the presence of our God.
Thank you for the encouragement that Jesus gives. Thank you for giving us the free gift of salvation by grace through faith in your Son. Help us to always remember and live in light of the fact that Christ overcame this world once and for all, and no matter what we face here, we have hope. Forgive us of our sins and deliver us to eternal life with you.
In Jesus’ Name,