“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

John 16:33

In John’s gospel, these are the last words Jesus says to his disciples before he is left utterly alone to face the horrors he knew were before him. Yet, in his heart and soul, he knew he was not alone. “…the Father is with me.” (vs 32) Consider: His best friends were about to fail him. Every conceivable humiliation and agony were about to be heaped upon him. Who among us could blame Jesus if he were to question God; to wonder if his ministry had meant anything! On a scale hardly worth mentioning in comparison, we have just come through a very trying, burdensome, scary year. And who knows what the days ahead will bring? More chaos? Another variant of the virus? More businesses going under? More grieving? More social and political unrest? It’s a time of anxiety!

Friends, hear these words of Jesus: “Yes, in the world you face persecution (stress, anxiety, threats, chaos, etc.) But take courage; I have conquered (overcome) the world!” He uttered these words to his companions who were about to abandon him and face their own fearful days. He speaks these words to you and me, too, as we face our fears and worries. Why? Because he wants us to know the peace we can have … peace in Him!! “The Father is with me (and you) … courage … I have overcome the world … be at peace.”

Jesus, you faced your crucifixion with faith, courage and peace. Help us to face our fearful unknown with the faith, courage and peace that only you can give. Amen.

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