February 29, 2020

Jesus the Overcomer

John 16:16-33

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

—  John 16:33

When I was a young teen, my father was critically ill with complications from a surgery. He asked the school to call me out of class and make him a poster saying, “Be of good cheer! I have overcome the world!”

At the time, I didn’t realize how sick my dad was, but I tried to make the most beautiful bubble letters ever and fill them with glitter. He survived, and that poster hung in his study for years afterward.

When Jesus was about to submit himself to death, he tried to prepare his disciples for the grief they would experience, and to encourage them with the final victory they would witness. Jesus would defeat sin and death, rise from the grave, return to the right hand of God the Father in heaven, and ultimately overcome this fallen world.

This verse comforted my father as his life hung on the edge. It comforts me today as I near the end of a three-year cancer-treatment plan, knowing that the doctors give me a 50-percent chance of making it to five years. But I have deep peace in my heart because God controls my life and this world. Until he calls me home, I will continue to love and serve him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. His prognosis is eternal life!

Lord, we don’t know what the future holds, but we know you hold the future. Thank you that you have overcome this world with its troubles and that we will reign with you forever. Amen.

About the author — Bonny Mulder-Behnia

Bonny Mulder-Behnia is a pastor in Bellflower, California, with 25 years of experience in church staff, educational, congregational, and pastoral ministry. She is married to Jahan and has two adult children and a grandson.

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