Daily Reflection – 5/22/2023
The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:29-33)
Jesus knew the hearts of his disciples better than they knew. He knew they would desert him in his hour of trial. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty with supreme love and trust in his disciples.
He knew that the cross would not bring defeat but victory over sin and death. He will overcome, through his cross, all the negative powers that try to prevent his love from reaching the ends of the earth.
Jesus speaks the same word to us today. “My love for you is unconditional and I will never abandon you”. While we cannot avoid all pain and suffering in this life, Jesus, nonetheless assures us that he will guide us safely through any difficulty or trial we may have to undergo for his sake.
We look at the violence of the world, the war in Ukraine, shootings in our cities, and we shake our heads and say, “This is hopeless. We will never be able to control the violence that surrounds us.” But we remain people of hope because God is greater than us. God sees things we do not see. God can make moves we cannot make. And God is committed to eliminating the violence of our world.
We look at the anger and the partisan thinking that characterizes our politics today: So many opinions dead set against one another. So little honesty and respect for one another. So few attempts to find common ground for the common good. We say, “This is hopeless. We will never be able to govern our country in a way that is good for all.” But we remain people of hope because God is greater than us. God can open doors that we cannot open. God can present new possibilities. And God is committed to bringing our country together.
We look at issues in our family: jealousy, resentment, divisiveness. Maybe we have tried time and again to heal those wounds without success. And we say, “I give up. There is no way that my family will ever be united.” But we remain people of hope because our God is greater than us. God can change hearts and move people to think again. And our God is committed to bring reconciliation to our families.
It takes courage to believe when we are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and difficulties of life. It is at times like these that our faith is tested and tried. It is at times like these when we have to ask ourselves whether we believe that God is still working for our good. To have courage in the face of adversity, to believe in the face of trials, and to trust and have faith when everything seems to be going wrong, is to have the confidence in the Father that Jesus had. This attitude can be ours if we open ourselves to God’s abundant grace and realize the impermanence of all that assails us. It is to know that, like Jesus, we too will overcome the “world”. The movement from present sorrow, pain and trial, to future joy, peace and hope, is possible and even guaranteed because Jesus has overcome.
No matter how difficult or divisive our situation may be, the power of God is greater than the forces that attack us. We must remain people of hope. When we cannot see a way forward, God has a way forward and is already working to bring us to salvation.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, help me to trust in your saving power, especially when I meet adversities and trials. Give me your peace when I am troubled and let me know the joy of your victory over sin and death.”
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and the victory he has won for us (Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome every adversity and to persevere with faith and hope in God. Do you believe in the power of Christ’s love for you and in the victory, he has won for you through his death and resurrection?