By Bob Zoellner
“In this world you will have trouble.”
Who among us would disagree with this statement, which Jesus said to his disciples near the end of his earthly life? While there is joy in the journey, many difficulties and troubles come our way whether we want them to or not.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the only thing Jesus said to his closest followers that day. He was wrapping up a conversation describing what was to soon come their way and finished by saying, “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).
The only way to experience that peace, though, is to know Jesus. To be ‘in him.’ In spite of difficult circumstances, to learn contentment and satisfaction. To be able to still offer praise to God while in the midst of a storm.
As John Piper states in his book, Desiring God: “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.”
To do that, we have to know what is revealed in the Bible, which gives the believer everything they needs for their new life in Christ.
“All Scripture is god-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Many are familiar with the theme of the Westminster Shorter Catechism being, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
As we learn more of God’s nature and character, we learn to offer him praise with our very lives. This is the ‘teaching’ part of the scriptures. When we get off track and are headed for destruction, a rebuke, much like a parent would a child, stops us dead in our tracks and convicts us of our sin.
Then correction comes, getting us back on the right path and helping us to see what went wrong. Finally, repeatedly putting into practice what we have learned does “train us in righteousness,” bringing us peace and satisfaction as we seek to glorify God.
In this world we will have trouble. That’s a given. But we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (see Ephesians 2:8-10). As we let Christ’s light within us shine, that becomes an expression of the peace and satisfaction we find in him, and God will be glorified.
Remain in him, and take heart. He has overcome the world.