Take Heart! (04-11-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 68:34-35
Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel,
whose power is in the heavens.
You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
Bible Reading: John 16:32-33
A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home.
You will leave me all alone, yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
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."
When someone comes to you with good news and bad news, which do you want to hear first?
Research suggests, probably not surprisingly, that if we hear the bad news first and the good news last, we are more likely to end up in a good mood.
John Wimber, a great American evangelist and church leader, is quoted as saying this, ‘The good news is that Jesus is praying for us. The bad news is that we are going to need it!’
Towards the end of his encouragement of his disciples at the Last Supper, and just before he prays for them, he gives them the good news and the bad news, bad news first.
Bad News: In this world you will have trouble
Good news: Take heart! I have overcome the world."
Many Christians believe that when they put their faith in Jesus all their troubles will go away. A bit like the man who built his house on the sand, when the rains come, their faith has a tendency to crash. A firmer foundation is built on the truth that Jesus, in his death and resurrection, has overcome the world. Sin, sickness and death no longer have the last word, but rather forgiveness, healing and life.
It is with such a promise of ultimate victory that Jesus says to us, ‘I have told you these things so that you may have peace.’
What are the troubles that you are facing at the moment? Will you bring them to Jesus and seek his peace in the midst of trouble?
Many people face troubles around the world today. Let us pray that they, along with us, might know the peace that Jesus gives in the midst of the troubles, and that sin in its many forms, sickness and death would be overcome.
Who do you know who is facing particular troubles at the moment? Lift them to God now, that they might know the peace of Jesus.
When I am tempted to despair, Lord,
Help me to remember that true peace is found in you and not in my circumstances.
Before the throne of God