Find peace only in Jesus. Find courage only in Jesus. Our hope is not in ourselves. We can always hope into our futures when we are focused on the victory of Jesus for us. When our eyes are focused on our afflictions, they are not focused on our bright future in Christ…
“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.”
“Yo les he dicho estas cosas para que en mí hallen paz. En este mundo afrontarán aflicciones, pero ¡anímense! Yo he vencido al mundo.”
As I reflect upon this verse for the umpteenth time, I do so this time en Espanol, using my new Spanish-English Bible. I think I am going to like this.
In this world, Jesus guarantees that we will be confronted with afflictions. So true. As I leave Guatemala for the third time, I am constantly reminded by the stories of our students that there are afflictions in this world. It is difficult or perhaps even near impossible for the people of Guatemala to get away from the afflictions they face. This is more so the truth for indigenous families who lack opportunity to change their predicaments.
Jesus is talking of spiritual persecution, and of course we know that our battles are not against flesh and blood, but rather against principalities and powers, which we fight with divine power by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (Ephesians 6:12, 2Corinthians 10:4-6).
And this is the truth: the evil one would love to use your physical circumstance to erode your trust in God. When your eyes are focused on your afflictions, they are not focused on your future in Christ.
So find peace. This is how the Spanish translation renders ‘have peace.’ Find it. Be active in finding the peace that Jesus offers. Jesus says, “take heart!” “Be encouraged!” He has overcome and defeated the world which brings its afflictions to your door. Our courage comes from Jesus’ victory. It is not of ourselves.
This can be problematic for those who seek from victory within. Our personal victories are fleeting, based on our days and nights and the moments of wins and losses. The puts and takes of life cannot compete with the eternal victory of Jesus.
So find peace only in him. Find courage only in him. We can always hope into our futures when we are focused on the victory of Jesus for us.