Journal Entry // April 29, 2021
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.”John 16:33 ESV
Tribulation… This is what we can expect from the world. It’s not a matter of if there will be tribulation, it is only a matter of when and to what degree. The world will most assuredly bring tribulation into my life. But Jesus has overcome the world. He does not take away the trials and adversity, but he does take away the power. The world can only go as far as Jesus allows. He doesn’t shelter me from the storms of this world. No, just as he had to walk through adversity and hardship in his life, so too do I need to walk through the struggles.
Take heart… This is the focus I need as I make my way through the world. I don’t want my heart to shrink away in fear of the adversity and trials. I am to take heart and stand strong and fix my gaze on Christ alone, for he has overcome. He is my strong deliverer. When the difficult times arrive, this is the time to draw near to Jesus. To pull myself closer to him. When sin has invaded my life, these are the moments to cling to Christ. I mostly want to run and hide from him in these times because my shame and guilt tell me that I should. But Jesus tells me to take heart, stand firm, and know that he has overcome.
And in the midst of the tribulation, Jesus brings peace. Jesus doesn’t say that he will bring peace on the other side of the adversity. He promises to bring peace in the midst of the struggle. Like the picture in Psalm 23, Jesus prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. There is this amazing picture of peace in the midst of tribulation. Even while surrounded by enemies and all looks grim, Jesus wants to share a meal together. Perfect peace and rest in the middle of adversity and trials.
This is the picture of truth that I need reminding of each and every hour of the day. There is peace in Jesus, but I must also take heart. The table is prepared, but I must sit and partake. He is in me and I am in him. Perfect peace and rest is always available to comfort me. I must only take heart and enjoy the presence of the lord.