Twenty-one is a reading plan we created with the hope that it will help you connect with God and prepare your heart for Easter. We’re glad you’ve opted to join us on this journey and look forward to celebrating Easter with you!
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When Jesus was alive, I wonder if his disciples took notes.
Was somebody writing down all the stuff that happened along the way? I don’t think they were because they never expected him to die on a cross. They planned on him being around as long as they were. There had been death threats, but he always escaped. He could heal blind people and make food appear out of nowhere and walk on water and turn water into really good wine. He was untouchable. There was nothing to worry about. So, no, I don’t think they wrote things down.
And yet somehow in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we find very detailed accounts of important conversations, stories, and moments they shared with him.
One such conversation is found in John 16.
The disciples were a few years into serving as his closest followers. Impressive miracles had taken place. They had seen him do fantastic things and they were likely expecting more. Circumstances were good. Their hearts were likely at peace when he dropped a bombshell on them. He told them he was going to be leaving and they would be scattered, possibly killed, and definitely would be full of grief for a time over his demise. Their world was about to be ripped apart. Then look what he told them at the end of the conversation:
““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.””
— JOHN 16:33
Huh? You told us you were leaving, we would miss you, we might be killed and scattered and hated . . . and you told us this so that we would have peace? How does that work? He went on:
““In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
— JOHN 16:33
I love this about Jesus.
He told them the truth about life . . .
It’s not easy.
Circumstances will get rough.
Politicians and people will argue.
Race relations will be challenging.
You will disagree with one another.
Your hearts will be broken.
The behaviors of your teenaged children will cause you stress, marriage won’t be easy, growing your character will be rough—life isn’t easy or fair or comfortable all the time.
In THIS world you WILL have trouble. BUT in a world full of trouble, there is a way to have peace.
And the path to peace is not paved with pretty circumstances.
The path to peace is paved by his victory. He defeated all enemies of peace.
In this conversation, he told them he was going away and they would not see him . . . but then after a bit, they would see him again. And when they saw him again, their peace would be solidified because they would know for sure that he had overcome the world. They were going to watch him die. Then they would see him alive again. That is how they would know that he was the boss of all the trouble, which meant they didn’t need to worry about the trouble because they knew trouble’s boss. They just had to hang with the boss. Know the boss.
We all face trouble, and if you are faced with a lack of peace as you experience the trouble, don’t focus on the trouble. Get to know the boss. He’s the source of peace, because he’s not worried about things he already knows he has overcome. He is your source. Don’t let trouble fool you into thinking you can’t live in perfect peace. You can.