There’s a saying about the little things in life. It’s the little things, so the saying goes that can end up being the big things. This can be true in relationships, careers, and attitudes. A teensy mouse can terrify a huge elephant, and so the story goes, one young man with the proper vision took down a giant who had defied armies. The unnoticed dripping faucet by day rings out like a maddening racket in the quietness of night, when one longs for quiet and sleep. It’s the little things we are thankful for, we rejoice in and the little things heaped upon us that can undo us in one moment.
It’s no wonder we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed when we deal with bits of discouragement daily. Who can avoid all negativity? It is impossible. Turn on the news at any given time and you will find a plethora of information that could cause you to think locking yourself and your family in the basement with rations is a better choice than walking out your front door and living life. Certainly it is safer. But as Christ followers we are not called to live our lives in fear or discouragement. That does not we always mean we remember or believe this truth
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.1 John 4:18
In our flesh we are truly prone to wander from the truth. But we have One who never wanders from our side and He is Love. (1 John 3:16)
So, how do we rise above the daily onslaught of discouraging news, circumstances and events that life dishes onto our plate? How do we keep our heads above the water when we feel like we are drowning in a world sized ocean of needs we cannot meet? How do we remain positive in an increasingly disgruntled society?
I have found God’s answer through the words of Jesus Christ as set forth in Scripture in one verse in particular:
“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 16:33
Jesus sets forth two facts, one directive and a promise as he prepares the disciples for his imminent departure. First, we live in a world that guarantees us trouble, recall who is ruler of this world (1 John 5:19). This is why we look forward ultimately to a new Heaven and Earth (Revelation 21:1). Second, Jesus has overcome this world through his death, burial and resurrection. Hallelujah! We are His spokespeople, the witnesses of His grace, the Redeemed. Third, Jesus affirms that in Him we may have peace. But, therein lies a choice hinging on a promise.
Jesus commands the disciples to “take heart”. Take heart? What is He saying? He is telling them to trust him! He is telling us the same thing today.
The fact is we will have trouble but the truth is Jesus lives!
As His disciples today we have a choice to make daily to fight discouragement that would otherwise rob us of the peace that Jesus promises.
We can focus on the trouble we have in the world or on the fact that Jesus has overcome the world.
Friends, I don’t know what is troubling you today, “But take heart!”
Our Savior Lives!