Devotional Reading: John 16: 16-33.
Text*: In this world you will face (persecution/trouble). But take courage; I have (overcome/conquered) the world.
When one decides to become a serious follower of Jesus, life does not necessarily become easier. As a matter of fact it will probably become harder as you begin to see the world as God sees it. You begin to see all of the prejudice and the injustice that exists, blatantly and subtly. . You become more and more sensitive to the victims of disaster and are grieved by the seeming randomness of evil. You will cry. You will ache. You will feel. You are being sanctified, being made more and more into the image of Christ.
And in seeing the brokenness of the world, you will be moved to do something about it. And this “doing something about it” will get you into trouble as you battle the complacency of society. This can be a period of great frustration and impatience as you cannot understand how others cannot be as moved as you are. But it is also a time for the development of great patience lest you become discouraged to the point of saying to yourself that you are just one person, one voice. Remember, Israel were slaves in Egypt for 300 years.
But don’t forget; God loves mustard seeds. The Kingdom of God starts small and grows, not necessarily in one lifetime, but over generations. Jesus’ words to His disciples as he was about to complete this part of life are both a source of Hope and Comfort. Hope that through their efforts the Kingdom of God is dawning, even if it is little by little. And Comfort in that he faced the challenges that we face and he has overcome the world. And so shall we… for the glory of God.
Lord, open my eyes to see the world as you see it. Give me wisdom to do what I can do, and the patience that sees the ultimately Your Will will be done, here on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.
* The word is translated both way, depending on the version of the Bible used.