August 24, 2020


John 16:16-33

“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.”

—  John 16:33

One of the things Jesus wants his followers to understand is that the way forward for them will not be easy. As we saw yesterday, we should be prepared to experience resistance and even hostility because of our faith. But beyond that, we will have to deal with many other problems in our fallen world. Conflict. Anxiety. Depression. Poverty. Divorce. Cancer. Tragedy. Disaster. The list goes on and on.

Jesus wants us to understand that there will be days and even seasons of life that are incredibly difficult. Scripture never promises that faith in Jesus will make our problems go away—in fact, sometimes the opposite is true.

But whatever comes our way, we do not face our struggles without hope. We have put our trust in the Savior who died but then rose again. He made our salvation and new life possible by defeating sin and death. Bible teachers call this theme in Scripture Christus Victor—the idea that Jesus will triumph over every enemy of God and that we will share in that victory because of our faith. In Christ, we have hope for the possibility of redemption in this life. Bodies can be healed, hearts can be softened, and lives can be changed. But even if we don’t experience some of the changes we hope for during our lives, we have the assurance that one day we will share in Christ’s victory.

Father, grant me your peace in difficult seasons, knowing that I will share in your victory. Amen.

About the author — A.J. Gretz

Anthony Joseph (A.J.) Gretz is a pastor in Grandville, Michigan. He has also served churches in Ohio and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Anna, have three children.

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