When Life Threatens to Overcome Us

(A commentary on John 16: 29-33)

Scripture Sunday: John 16:33 – a passionate pursuit
Daily Reflection – 5/17/2021

Sacred Scripture

His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure! Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 29-33)

Reflection

Immediately before this scene, Jesus had said that the hour was coming when he would no longer speak in figures of speech — parables — but would tell us clearly about the Father. He told his disciples straight out that the Father loves them, that he had come from the Father into the world, and was about to leave the world to go back to the Father.

Jesus told them both what would happen as well as how they would have their faith challenged, that they would fail “so that you might have peace in me.” He wanted them to maintain their peace in the crucible.

Life can be a crucible. All of us hit “speed bumps” in life. Some, in truth, are just that – speed bumps. Others are far more grave, they involve life altering and life-threatening events – illness, death, prolonged addiction and more. They not only challenge our life; they challenge our faith.

Our friends and those we love will draw close to us and give us comfort. Those words of comfort counsel us to turn to God and seek his peace, seek his help.

But that is so hard when our hurt is so deep. The truth is that’s a time when the Lord is most present to us.

No one understands our pain more than he does.

No one understands our feeling “alone” more than he does.

No one understands our lack of courage in wanting to go on.

No one but Jesus.

Jesus Christ has been there. He experienced it all.

The source of our ability to go on is linked to Jesus’ triumph, and that triumph was already being accomplished even as it seemed all was being lost. We need to believe in that triumph especially when we hurt the most.  Just as the apostles needed to hear Jesus’ words, “Take courage, I have overcome the world!” when they saw him on Calvary, we too have to believe in His courage. Because it was Jesus who took us to the cross, offered himself, and embraced each of in His resurrection.

I know its hard to embrace all of that in our suffering. But it’s precisely at that time that Jesus is most present to us. When our hearts are breaking, his love wants only to fall gently inside us and give us power and peace. His love sits on our hearts, waiting to console and strengthen us

Throughout history, we see that those who struggle with adversity and failure are those who truly experience the power and peace of God’s presence.  Those who are in need are those who truly believe and are strengthen in their need.

We need to find our peace in him even in the midst of whatever difficulties we will face today or tomorrow.

Jesus conquered the world, not in any political or economic sense but in overcoming the evil of the world.  His disciples can share in that victory, as long as they stay close to him and walk his Way.

The peace we seek is there if we put ourselves into Jesus’ hands.  He knows; he has been through more than anything we are ever likely to have to experience.

He has everything we require to survive and move on. Believe that, embrace that and know the power of his love.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, help me to trust in your unwavering love and saving help, especially when I meet adversities, trials, and temptations. Give me your peace when I am troubled and let me know the joy of your victory over sin and death.”

Daily Note

Drawing on our faith, we can find our peace even in the midst of whatever difficulties we will face today or tomorrow, and to hold fast to the belief that he conquered the world. We are the disciples of that Conqueror who did all of that, and all of this, for us!

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