"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 14:33
I. The Promise of Peace
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace
Every person will face challenges in life; it is one of the great realities of life. We have the common bond of human suffering that connects us together. We are bound together by the truth of our brokenness. We are linked by the depth of our limitations.
Challenges filled the pages of the Bible.
David faced the challenge of Goliath
Moses stood before the challenge of the Red Sea
Joshua marched around the challenge of the Walls of Jericho
Nehemiah faced the challenge of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo faced the challenge of false worship or death
Peace is not an absence of problems but rather is serenity in the midst of problems. We can have peace in the center of the storm. We can have peace when surrounded by chaos. Our problem is that so often we refuse to enter into the peace that Jesus has for us. We make the choice to live life by our terms and by our plans. Then the world steps and shatters our best laid plans.
The World In Christ
We experience peace through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross and by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The only real peace that we have comes through Jesus. We experience peace through the study of God’s Word and applying those truths to our lives.
II. The Reality of Problems
In this world you will have trouble
The world offers a counterfeit peace that looks good on the outside but has no value on the inside. Our world centered peace is just fine when life is smooth sailing or problem free but the moment trouble raises its ugly head, worldly peace collapses. It collapses hard and fast, leaving nothing but ruins. How many lives have been devastated by world centered peace.
In reality, the world offers a peace that is not peaceful at all. We believe that peace should be the calming force that brings us serenity when we need it most. In fact, world centered peace does exactly the opposite it brings trouble. World centered peace robs us of what serenity we have and leaves us bankrupt.
The peace the world offers to us is faulty because it is never complete. The world’s peace is fleeting because it will never last. The world cannot give genuine peace because it is corrupt by the power of sin and death. There is no possible way to experience genuine peace without knowing Jesus.
Jesus told us that we will have trouble because it is the nature of this world. Honestly, why should we expect anything different? Jesus knew we would face problems. The word for trouble means trials, tribulations and troubles of all kinds. The reality is that no situation, no circumstance, no problem ever takes Him by surprise. The words of Jesus are clear that we are not to be overwhelmed or overcome by our troubles but rather we are to overcome our troubles through his strength. Jesus faced more than His share of problems and so will we but we need to remember that Jesus overcame those problems. The promise of Jesus still remains true today that He has overcome the world.
III. The Display of Power
But take heart! I have overcome the world
We often believe that we can overcome if we just try harder or work longer or sacrifice more. We will never overcome our troubles, our problems by our efforts. If we could, they wouldn’t be much of a problem than would they?
God makes it clear that it is not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit.
We cannot overcome through our abilities, by our effort or by our intellect. There is absolutely nothing that we can do that has not already been accomplished by Christ. Jesus is the One who has defeated death through the overcoming power of the resurrection. Jesus has beaten the power of sin through His blood on the cross. Jesus triumphed over the sin soaked system that Satan created. Jesus has taken all the greatest problems of humanity and overcame them all.
This is the source of our hope and the source of our peace. There is nothing greater in life than this because Jesus has already defeated our greatest enemies. Because those enemies have been defeated, we can rest in His power. If Jesus took care of the power of death, will He not also care for our other problems? In this world we will have problems but the good news is that they are already solved.
Jesus moves us from the place of trouble to the place of peace. Jesus takes us from a point of hurt to a point of healing. Our lives are often the place where the world and faith collide. It is in these collisions that we make the decision to walk by sight or walk by faith.
Jesus makes it clear that we should expect troubles in this life but He also makes it clear that we should also expect deliverance. We should expect Jesus to step into our problems and go through them with us. He is bigger than any problem that we will ever face.
What challenges do you face today?
The challenge of illness
The challenge of finances
The challenge of family problems
The challenge of personal pain
The challenge of addictive habits
No matter what you face today, you can overcome. Not by your own strength or by your power. We serve a God who is limitless in His power, boundless in His love and matchless in His ability. We serve a God who is bigger than anything we face.
He gives strength to the weary and increases power to the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The challenge that waits ahead of you is smaller than the One who stands behind you. Our God is greater and our God is stronger. This morning lay down that challenge before the feet of Jesus. It is only then that you will experience His peace that passes all understanding. It is only when we surrender that we can truly overcome.