“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
In these words of Jesus, there’s a great message of hope – triumphant hope, glorious hope, eternal hope.
Jesus speaks to us about “tribulation” – but this is not all that he says to us. He speaks to us of his triumph. These words of Jesus turn our thoughts towards his crucifixion and resurrection. For Jesus, his crucifixion was the time of his great tribulation. What suffering he endured, at the hands of his enemies! Jesus’ resurrection was the time of his triumph. We look at his crucifixion and resurrection, and we ask, “Why was he crucified? Why was he raised from the dead?” The answer is – It was for us that he died, and it was for us that he was raised from the dead. This great message of Christ, crucified and risen, speaks to us in our tribulation. It lifts our eyes above all the things that trouble us. It shows us that all of these things will come to an end. It gives us a glimpse of God’s eternal glory and leads us on to better things.
We look at what’s happening in our world, and we wonder, “What’s going on? What’s this all about? What does it mean? ” Are there any answers to our many questions? What are we to do with our many questions? Are we to allow them to draw us away from the Lord? We do not have all the answers – but we do have our Saviour! He’s leading us on to his eternal glory. In this world, we only have fleeting glimpses of the glory of the Lord. Sometimes, we feel that we are very near to him. At other times, we feel that we’re very far from him. When we’re wondering where God is, in all the things that are happening to us, let us pray that we will be given the faith that we need – to keep on believing in the Lord. In these difficult times, when our faith is being put to the test, may we catch a glimpse of the glory of the Lord, and may our faith in him grow stronger.
When things are going badly for us, and we wonder what the future holds for us, let us not forget that there is more than our future – there is God’s future. Our future may be very uncertain, but let us never forget this – “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). We may feel like we’re in a desolate wilderness. We may wonder if there’s any hope for us. When we feel like this, there’s something we must never forget – “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).