John 16:33-“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” (NIV).
One of the most beautiful things about each and every one of us who walk this Earth is that we are completely and utterly unique. In our appearance, in our habits, in our quirks…and especially in how we think. There is no other human on this planet who TRULY knows you and who you are as a person, how you think, how you feel… except for only you.
But there is something we all share in common, something we can all relate to and say, “Yeah, me too”. Something that is hard to talk about.
Suffering. Pain. Heartache. Call it what you will, it’s universal. We have all felt the relentless, haunting presence of pain in our lives at one point or another. Hurt spreads through our bodies, slowly and deliberately, like when a thick fog begins to envelop the land around us. And it comes in so many different ways: loss of a loved one through death, broken relationships, rejection, humiliation, sickness, miscommunication, disappointment…there are a plethora of ways we experience hurt, and even if I tried, I would never be able to finish listing them all. Regardless, they all make our souls ache, and many times we don’t want to talk about the pain. We fail to reach out to one another and let each other know that we understand because we’ve been there, and we’ve felt it.
That would be admitting our vulnerability, exposing those tiny fissures of weakness that we work so hard to fill and keep from cracking, exposing the very real parts of us. The parts that could connect us.
Jesus warned us that life in this world would be hard, filled with pain, suffering, trials, and challenges. In John 16:33 (NIV) He states, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble”. We don’t want to hear this. We don’t want to suffer. But He warned us that life would not be easy.
My family and I have been walking through a particularly difficult season of our lives recently. For the better part of a year, we seem to have been encountering a deluge of challenges, incessantly bombarding us with a new hurdle to try and leap over everyday. And these hurdles are not just ones that we can leap over and forget as we approach the next one. These hurdles seem to be dragging along behind us, weighing us down as we run our race. Have you been there? Dragging around those heavy hurdles that are weighing you down, seemingly impossible to overcome?
I am with you.
BUT, Jesus wasn’t done when He spoke those words in John 16:33. He finishes His promise with this beautiful statement of truth: “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV). And He has! He loved us so much and wanted us with Him in heaven, that He willingly gave His life so we could be with Him. Jesus overcame all of the pain, suffering, and heartache in this world, and defied death…for us. His promises to us are true, solid, and everlasting, whereas pain, suffering, and heartache are not. They are temporary, and will eventually pass.
I’m learning, slowly, one day at a time, to trust in God’s Truth, and right now I’m clinging to the joy that He has overcome the world and it’s troubles. Because I know now that the troubles I have are temporary. They will pass and life will continue on.
I don’t know what you’re walking through today, and I can’t experience heartache in the same manner you do. But know, you’re not alone in the hurt and it will not last forever. Cry out to Him, and He will be with you, helping you jump those hurdles. Jesus has overcome the world, and saved all of us to be with Him in His glory.
I’m praying this prayer for you today:
Father God, please comfort those who are suffering today. Please bring them peace as they face their hurdles and struggles in their lives. We all need you Lord, as we face every blessed day you’ve given us here in this world. Thank you for your Son, your unending grace, and all that you do for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.