September 22 | Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13
Making Peace with Trouble
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
READ JOHN 16:25–33
We were almost home when I noticed it: the needle of our car’s temperature gauge was rocketing up. As we pulled in, I killed the engine and hopped out. Smoke wafted from the hood. The engine sizzled like bacon. I backed the car up a few feet and found a puddle beneath: oil. Instantly, I knew what had happened: The head gasket had blown.
I groaned. We’d just sunk money into other expensive repairs. Why can’t things just work? I grumbled bitterly. Why can’t things just stop breaking?
Can you relate? Sometimes we avert one crisis, solve one problem, pay off one big bill, only to face another. Sometimes those troubles are much bigger than an engine self-destructing: an unexpected diagnosis, an untimely death, a terrible loss.
In those moments, we yearn for a world less broken, less full of trouble. That world, Jesus promised, is coming. But not yet: “In this world you will have trouble,” He reminded His disciples in John 16. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (v. 33). Jesus spoke in that chapter about grave troubles, such as persecution for your faith. But such trouble, He taught, would never have the last word for those who hope in Him.
Troubles small and large may dog our days. But Jesus’ promise of a better tomorrow with Him encourages us not to let our troubles define our lives today.
By Adam R. Holz
REFLECT & PRAY
Father, troubles never seem far away. But when they’re close, You’re even closer. Please help me to cling to You in trust today.
What does it look like for you to surrender your troubles to God? What might you use as a prompt to remind yourself to offer up your anxieties to Him throughout the day?
John 14-16 is Jesus’ Upper Room Discourse, His final extended teaching time with His disciples before going to the cross. In today’s verses (16:25-33), Jesus concludes His message by paralleling its beginning. In 16:28, Jesus says He’s leaving this world and going to the Father, which echoes 14:2-3 where He says He’s going to the Father’s house. In John 16:32, He says they’ll scatter to their own homes, leaving Him alone. But in John 14:3 He assures them that there’s a place in the Father’s house for them—an infinitely better home! Finally, in 14:1, Jesus begins by encouraging them not to allow their hearts to be troubled by His departure, while in 16:33 He assures them they can have peace because of His coming victory. In this way, the message concludes by closing the loop on the ideas that opened it. Bill Crowder