“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33
Jesus tells us plainly — from the mountain, around the table, along the way — that this world is openly hostile to the things of God. For disciples to live in the world means we have to experience struggle and conflict and even battles. The world’s values and vision and morals and ethics are opposed to ours in Christ. And living here isn’t easy.
Not for Christians.
Living right here right now is hard.
I spent an hour with Quincy this morning in our prayer room, lifting up dozens of requests to our Father in Jesus’ name. The things my brothers and sisters have written on those requests tell me that we have struggles and battles. I’ve spent more than a few cumulative hours over the past four or five days in my study counseling with people, praying with people, crying and agonizing with people. There’s nothing easy about this.
Jesus never pretended that it would be. He knows it’s tough. He lived it, remember? And he reminds us that while we’re having this trouble, we can also be filled with courage and strength and hope because he has overcome all of it.
Jesus tells us, “I have faced your enemy and I have conquered him. I have fought your battles on the same fields of human experience where you fight, and I’ve won. I’ve already done it for you. And I’m doing it right now in you and for you.”
If we abide in him, if we stay connected to him, his eternal victory belongs to us.
Wow. That’s really good news.