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Safe In Trouble

John 16:32-33
‘A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. ‘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.’ (NIVUK)

Jesus said the disciples would be scattered and leave Him alone.  That is exactly what happened (Mark 14:43-52).  But Jesus’ security would not depend on those who used to be around Him, but on Father God who would be with Him.  The example of Jesus in facing the hatred of the world, was to be their model of godly discipleship – trusting that the Lord would be with them, knowing them intimately (John 16:29-30).

Even the fellowship among the disciples would not be sufficient to keep their hearts and minds in peace; they would all be scattered and separated from each other.  There would be no comfort in the world, because people’s instinctive hatred of the Lordship of Christ would rebound on His followers (John 15:18-21).  But Jesus had total confidence and peace because He was on the Father’s mission, trusting Him through all the agonies ahead.  In the same way, the apostles would suffer the hatred of the world, but they would also have peace as they trusted in Jesus who had ‘overcome the world’.

The sufferings of Christ were to be an encouragement.  His resurrection would prove that troubles were not the end, they were all part of the journey.  Even death could not destroy those who trusted in God, or nullify His love for them (Romans 8:37-39) because Jesus conquered death and Satan’s power to enslave people in fear (Hebrews 2:14-15).  Whatever troubles might come, Jesus would always be greater.  Trusting Jesus was, and is, the only guarantee of contentment. Although the disciples would face unimaginable problems, Jesus would still be in charge.

This simple truth is essential for every believer.  God does not allow His own children to be left alone.  As the Father was with Jesus, so His disciples will always be ‘in Christ’.  Our sins were dealt with ‘in Christ’, our righteousness is only ‘in Christ’ and our destiny is only safe ‘in Christ’.  Jesus Christ is our advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1-2), our defence against the devil, our shelter from the storm and our hope for eternity.  How safe we are!  So whatever your circumstances, take heart!  If Jesus has overcome the world – why should you be frightened?

Heavenly Father. Thank You that Jesus is ultimately in charge of this world. I am sorry when I have become so focussed on the troubles that I have not seen my Saviour and His authority to destroy the devil’s work. Please forgive me when I have allowed doubt and fear to creep in, destroying my peace. Please help me to trust the promises of Jesus so that I will look beyond the troubles to the Saviour and find my peace in Him. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams