Our world is filled with problems. From economic concerns to family drama, relational tensions, to health issues. Problems are everywhere; stressors are everywhere! You may think life would be easier if there were no issues and if you could protect yourself from every pitfall. However, it will never happen. Hopefully, it comes as no shock that a yearning for a life free of all stress and problems is elusive. Yet, Jesus promised you peace in the midst of it all because He conquered death, sin, and all the trappings of this world. What would it look like tomorrow to wake up and realize no matter what comes my way, I can have peace through Christ? The heart of Jesus is to never leave you alone and to give you life and hope in the midst of it all.
The Bible Reveals
The Bible is, as a whole, a book of revelation. That means that it reveals to us what we otherwise could never know. It reveals to humans what humans could never discover through the scientific method, or calculus, or philosophy, or even artificial intelligence. God has blessed us with rational minds capable of seeking and sometimes even finding answers to questions of who, what, when, where, and even how. But there are deeper questions which we cannot answer on our own, the biggest of which begin with why?
We can study the natural world up and down and learn much about it, but we’ll never learn why it’s there. We could understand the human body down to the smallest organelle of a cell, but we’d never discover why we ended up on this earth. Inside all of us is the deep-seated desire to find our purpose. We want to know what things mean even more that we want to figure out what they are. We become motivated at work when we know not just how to do a task, but why it’s important.
Among all the books in the greatest library, only the Bible — being the Word of God — can reveal to us our true purpose. The Bible is the only book inspired by the Creator who knew each of us from the beginning. He is the one who set our universe in motion, having set all of the celestial bodies in place and designed man in His image. When we open the Bible, we have access to the Word of God, who intended for us to read and come to know Him and His nature through the prayerful contemplation of its pages.
All the knowledge in the world about the world could not compare with the slightest knowledge and acceptance of the Lord as our Savior. Jesus Christ died a gruesome death on the cross, paying the penalty for all of humanity’s sin, so that we could be reconciled to God the Father forever. Why? Because our God loves us. He wants us to choose His way for our lives, because He knows what we were created for.
Your Grief Will Turn to Joy
Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
— (John 16:16-18)
Could you imagine walking with Jesus Christ for years, witnessing Him heal people and raise them from the dead? Could you imagine hearing His teachings and experiencing His loving rebukes? Could you imagine the feeling of just beginning to grasp a fraction of all of His teachings, and then hearing what He says in the verses above? Why would the Lord be leaving us? And how could this possibly be for our good?
Jesus’ story is so familiar to many of us that we forget just how strange Jesus’ announcement to the disciples must have been on first listen. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity hadn’t been developed quite yet, for one thing. And although the disciples witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead, it wouldn’t be clear to them why Jesus would allow Himself to die even if He could rise back to life. Undoubtedly, the disciples worried also about their own safety, as Jesus was making enemies with the powers of the day, and if He were gone, who would protect them?
What the disciples did not yet know, (and what many modern-day Christians take for granted) is that the Lord would be sending His Holy Spirit to them as their guide. Since Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden, man had needed to fulfill legalistic requirements and present themselves in particular locations in order to experience the presence of God. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Holy Spirit lives in us, and our bodies themselves become temples of God!
Jesus knew that even in His physical absence, the disciples (and all future believers, which might include yourself!) would never have to walk without the Spirit of God with them and in them. He instructs us on right and wrong if we listen. He points us to opportunities to share our faith, and He emboldens us to speak. Just like the people of Jesus’ day, we still must listen to and heed the instructions of the Holy Spirit. But if we do, God will do amazing things in us and through us, and we need not fear.
“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
Resources // Media // RightNow Media
One Voice // Part 2: A People of God // Jeff Simmons
Everyday Armor // Part 1: We are in a Spiritual Battle // Jeff Simmons