Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 13:38
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Chapter: 16
Verse: 25 – 33
Text: John 16:25-33

What do you hold onto when it seems as if your familiar world and the circumstances that you know and that make you feel safe are disintegrating?

Joni Eareckson Tada says that her life lay in pieces around her when she was discharged from hospital and the reality of her paralysis struck her. (She became a quadriplegic after a swimming accident.): “Those early days when I first got out of the hospital were terrifying. Without the encouragement and perspective of Scripture, I honestly don’t know how I would have survived. Like a strong lifeline, God’s word kept me from drowning in my despair” (Secret Strength, p. 92).

The conversation (John 14 – 16) that Jesus had with his disciples during the few hours before He was captured and murdered contains several “lifelines” or “anchors” that had to save the disciples from total despair. One of these “lifeline words” we find in John 16 verse 33, “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.” Even though the world of the disciples would seemingly be falling apart within a couple of hours, they had to keep their spirits up, because their Master had conquered the world.

There are numerous ways in which the AIDS pandemic can overwhelm you, so that you feel as if you were sinking into the depth of despair. The overwhelming statistics. The plight of a mother or father whose health is deteriorating irreversibly. The struggle of a teenager who has to take over the role of the parents and take care of smaller brothers and sisters. The struggle to make peace with your HIV+ status. …

Let’s read Jesus’ words in John 16:33 once more, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” While Jesus was saying these words to the disciples, his cross and resurrection still lay in the future. Today we know that He had risen from the grave as victor.

This reminds me of the story of Matthew 14:28-31. When Peter started sinking into the waves, Jesus grabbed his hand and pulled him from the water. In John 16:33 Jesus reaches out his hand and holds onto us in a world where we too often feel as if we are going under.

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English