26 October 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 16:28-33 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 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 16:31-33 NLT)
“You will scatter, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.” Jesus spoke to his disciples without criticism, judgment, or condemnation about the fact that in only a couple of hours they would all scatter and leave him alone. But though they left him, he was not alone because the Father was with him.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. Jesus is giving them a perspective that only experience and a deep trust in the goodness and love of God can give. It’s one thing to have peace when everything is going well. Your life is humming along smoothly, your family is fine, your friends are faithful, your bills are paid, there’s money in the bank, and your health is good. But when “you have many trials and sorrows”, when family isn’t fine, friends aren’t faithful, bills aren’t paid, and you get bad news from the doctor, Jesus wants us to still have peace. That peace is not in our circumstances, that peace is in him!
Jesus had the assurance that when everyone else scattered and left him alone, he wasn’t alone because his Father was still with him. That was Jesus’ peace. That is the peace he had spoken to them about in John 14:27-31 (Peace GN 10-12-18). In this world, on this earth, they would face many trials and sorrows! I’m pretty sure that the last twenty centuries has borne out the truth of what Jesus was telling them! Life on earth can be brutal! Trials and tests and hardships may abound! And we may well be left alone by those who make up our planet earth support system. The world can be a scary place! “Alone” is scary! But Jesus overcame the worst the world could throw at him. So, from Jesus himself, “Take heart, dear child, because I have overcome the world. And I’m with you!”
Father, Thank you for the peace Jesus has left with us! I have to admit that there are a lot of times that my peace rests more in my circumstances than in my settled faith. Forgive me for being often slow to trust, to rest, and to rely on your presence and the peace I have in Jesus. Thanks for being so patient with me. I do trust you! Amen.