I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.John 16:33 (NLT)
I was blessed with the opportunity to take a vacation to Colorado a couple of summers ago. We spent four amazing days in Rocky Mountain National Park. The views were spectacular. The wildlife was entertaining, and the temperature at 14,000 feet was nice and chilly! We were also blessed to rent a very nice cabin a short distance from the entrance to the national park. It had the creature comforts that us civilized folk are used to – electricity, indoor plumbing, and Wifi – so we weren’t roughing it too much. That is, until the second day of our vacation.
We had returned to the cabin in the early afternoon to take a break from our hiking adventures. As we were relaxing we began to smell smoke. We looked around, and it wasn’t in the cabin. So, I ventured outside. It was there that I could see that a cloud of smoke was blowing over our little neighborhood of cabins. There was a wildfire nearby. In fact, come to find out, it was only about two miles away from the cabin. After a little time had passed, we were told our neighborhood needed to evacuate. So, we threw all of our luggage in the rental van and drove off, with no certainty of what lied ahead for us. It was stressful, to say the least.
In our Christian walk, we will face uncertainty. As our verse today states, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” In other words, we’re going to go through stuff that is stressful, painful, and distressing. We will have issues to deal with, addictions to break, pride to overcome, and hurt at the hands of others. We live in a broken world filled with broken people. We can’t avoid that while we are here on Earth.
But, notice the other half of the verse, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” In other words, don’t think of this world as our eternal home. The things that we must struggle through now are only temporary. Yes, they stink while we going through them, but they won’t last forever. When Jesus returns, and evacuates us from this planet, all of those struggles, all of those pains, are destroyed for all eternity. When we grasp this concept, we experience peace – not necessarily in the moment, but for the future – where our eternity has already been prepared. We find peace in the guarantee of our Savior.