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
“ESCAPE.” The billboard shouts the benefits of having a hot tub installed. It gets my attention—and gets me thinking. My wife and I have talked about getting a hot tub . . . someday. It’d be like a vacation in our backyard! Except for the cleaning. And the electric bill. And . . . suddenly, the hoped-for escape starts to sound like something I might need escape from.
Still, that word entices so effectively because it promises something we want: Relief. Comfort. Security. Escape. It’s something our culture tempts and teases us with in many ways. Now, there’s nothing wrong with resting or a getaway to someplace beautiful. But there’s a difference between escaping life’s hardships and trusting God with them.
In John 16, Jesus tells His disciples that the next chapter of their lives will test their faith. “In this world you will have trouble,” He summarizes at the end. And then He adds this promise, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (v. 33). Jesus didn’t want His disciples to cave in to despair. Instead, He invited them to trust Him, to know the rest He provides: “I have told you these things,” he said, “so that in me you may have peace” (v. 33).
Jesus doesn’t promise us a pain-free life. But He does promise that as we trust and rest in Him, we can experience a peace that’s deeper and more satisfying than any escape the world tries to sell us.
How have you seen invitations to escape in the world around you recently? How well do you think they might deliver on those promises?
Father, help me to trust You so that I may find peace and rest in You.
After three years of following their Teacher, seeing His miracles, and expecting to see Him overthrow the Roman occupation, His disciples were confused when He told them He was leaving (John 16:5–7). But that’s not all. He also said that in His absence, they’d have trouble (vv. 1–4, 16–18). Sensing their alarm, Jesus signaled that before long they’d understand God’s plan to overcome the oppressive world rule of His enemy (v. 33). Only after He’d risen from the dead and sent His Spirit would they understand the self-sacrificing goodness of God. Jesus exposed the accusing lies of Satan (v. 11), overcame with love the worst of our sins, and conquered death by showing His power over the grave.
Learn more about the life and times of Jesus.