August 3, 2018
READ: John 16:1-4,16-33
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 (v.33).
In 2017, the morning after the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert that resulted in nearly 60 fatalities and more than 500 wounded, the President of the United States quoted Scripture to comfort the grieving families and victims. This response to tragedy isn’t unusual; many people turn to the Bible for comfort following devastating events
BibleGateway.com analysed Scripture search patterns after 19 major incidents of violence and found that among the site’s 150 million visitors, four Bible verses registered a distinct spike in readership in the aftermath of the violent tragedies. John 16:33 is one of these four Bible verses.
Hours before His betrayal, Jesus spoke of the troubles and dangers ahead. He would be betrayed and put to death (John 13:21,31-33). The disciples would be persecuted and scattered (15:20, 16:2,32). But Jesus comforted the distraught disciples with the promise of His presence and abiding peace through the Spirit (14:16-20). Jesus offered them and us a much-needed gift: “peace of mind and heart”. He said that His peace “is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (14:27).
Jesus also left His distressed disciples with another gift—the assurance of His final victory over sin and death. “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” (16:33).
We live in a world broken by sin and twisted by pain. Yet even in the midst of turmoil and fear, we can experience Jesus’ gift of “peace of mind and heart”. We can bring our fears to Him. For He—the One who has triumphed over death—brings us joy no one can take away (16:22).
365-day plan: Luke 11:14-32
Read Philippians 4:6-7 to see how we can experience afresh the peace Jesus promised us.
What’s distressing you today? As you cope with life’s troubles and pain, how can the gift of Jesus’ “peace of mind and heart” give you confidence and hope?