John 16:3 Jesus said “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 is a straight shooter. He tells it like it is. He didn’t sugar coat it, he straight up says “hey, life is going to be hard sometimes. Trouble will come your way.”
Don’t we avoid trials and trouble like the plague? No one woke up this morning thinking “oh how I hope some trouble comes my way today.” Troubles will come, if not today then perhaps tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you have to flip out. Just because trouble is coming doesn’t mean you have to curl up in a ball and try to self-protect. Just because trouble is coming doesn’t mean you have to be defensive and on edge, nor scared and suspicious.
Trouble is part of our life here. I mean unless you live in another world, because Jesus said in THIS WORLD, you WILL have trouble. That sounds pretty certain to me. So we shouldn’t be shocked and surprised when trouble comes our way.
God never offered us a trouble free life. Jesus never said “follow me and I’ll make this thing easy.” We were never guaranteed a surrendered life would be an insulated, protected life. If you live, you’re going to get bruises. If you love, you’re going to get hurt. If you get up, you’re going to fall down.
It was guaranteed from day one there would be trouble. So let us not be shocked and dismayed over it all. Let us not make the trouble worse by magnifying it. Let us do what Jesus was telling his disciples, let us TAKE HEART for we know Jesus has overcome the world.
Take heart means to be encouraged and made hopeful. Take a hold of your heart, steal yourself away from anxiety, despair, fear and worry. This is an action. Don’t let your heart run wild with your thoughts and your emotions. Take hold of it. Control it. Focus on what you know here. There will be trouble in this world. This world is trouble. But Jesus has overcome the world.
Now look at that, if Jesus is telling you there will be trouble in this world and he has overcome the world, he is saying that he has overcome your trouble. Did you get that? He has already overcome your trouble. So you can take hold of your heart and resist the enemy’s offer of anxiety, despair, fear and worry and you can take Jesus’ guarantee that he has already overcome this world AND your trouble.
And what does all of this offer us? It offers us peace. We receive peace in the midst of trouble. Not a trouble free life, but a peace filled life. Won’t you receive peace today. Won’t you trust that the one who holds the world in the palm of his hands holds you too? Won’t you trust that Jesus has already overcome every trouble and trial you face?
Stare down your trouble today and with bold confidence declare Jesus has already overcome it. He’s already made a way and victory will ultimately be yours. As a daughter of the King and Christ follower, you have a promise. Don’t confuse the promise. It was never a promise of an easy life. It was never a promise of things always going your way. It’s a promise of all things working TOGETHER for good. A promise of God being FOR you, and remember if God is for you, who can be against you?
Receive your peace. Walk in assurance. Hold your head high knowing your trouble has already been overcome. It’s already covered. The way has been made. God is already on the other side of this holding the door for you! So you take your heart and you guide it. Don’t let your heart be burdened and overwhelmed by current circumstances.
When Jesus tells you “take heart, I have overcome the world” he’s saying, “just you wait. Wait and see what I’m doing here.”
You have no idea what God has been doing for you. You cannot even begin to fathom the details of his divine plan specifically for you, but if you will refuse to become overwhelmed, if you will resist the enemies offers quick fixes and the easy way out, you will step into the greatness of the Lord. “Take heart” is an invitation to dwell in confidence knowing God’s got you and it’s already covered.