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fresco at the Karlskirche in vienna (by Johann...

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These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

I find it reassuring to know that Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, has overcome the world.  But when I really stop to think about this verse, I have to ask myself two questions: What are “these things” that Jesus spoke to His disciples, and what is “the world”?

These things I have spoken to you…

I glanced back over the previous 32 verses in this chapter, and this is what I hear Jesus saying: “We have been through some tough times together, and more tough times are coming.  Things will happen that you don’t understand.  You will be shunned and persecuted because of your faith in Me.  But these are temporary situations, just seasons in your lives, and the Holy Spirit is prepared to help you through each day by guiding you in truth so that you glorify Me with your lives.  So even though times are hard, they will get better.  Just remember that you always have peace available in life’s trials, because I am bigger than any situation, and because I am God, I am always in control.”

… I have overcome the world. 

“The world” represents sin and the consequences of sin.  It refers to anything that does not glorify God.  It speaks of anything, big or small, that we allow to take precedence over God’s kingship of our lives.  It is the disdain and disrespect that unbelievers show toward anything that glorifies God and anyone who professes faith in God.  “The world” is controlled (within limits) by Satan, who is revealed as the father of lies (John 8:44).  Jesus has overcome – triumphed over, transcended, bested, won the victory over – the world.

I have peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) because I know that Jesus has triumphed over sin.  I know that because He said so.  His Word is truth.

MONDAY SANITY SAVER: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Such a simple thing to do… yet so important.  Taking time to recognize God’s blessings in my life helps me to put the problems in my life into the proper perspective.  It reminds me to worship God and thank Him for the things I take for granted.  And it helps me to realize that my challenges aren’t as bad or hard as I think they are – I have God on my side.  I know that because I can see how He is blessing me and working in my life.  So take time to count your blessings today.

One of my blessings is a family day today – my son is out of school, and my husband took the day off from work.  Another blessing – rain!  And one more that I am grateful for:  my family is healthy and safe.  Praying God’s blessings and protection over you and your family as you begin another week.  

As you count your blessings, feel free to share some of them in the comments!

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