Day 18: Take Heart

John 16:29-33
Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God." "Do you now believe?" Jesus replied. "A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 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."

In the beginning of John 16 Jesus says, “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith.” He goes on to say in verse 33 - “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.” He wants them to have peace, but it will only come from them abiding in Him. Again we are reminded of the True Vine and all the benefits of abiding in the Vine, and peace is one of those benefits. 

He continues on in verse 33 with these words: “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” At this time, as He is spending time with His disciples, He knows what is about to happen. We can see His concern for them. He knows He is going to die and that this is going to really cause His disciples to be discouraged and lose heart!  As a result, He tells them about the future--about where, when, and why He is going, and that they should take heart (be of good cheer) because He has overcome this world!

This is such a good reminder for today. We will have trouble, trial, suffering, pain, and grief. These things are very real. It is a promise that in this world you will have trouble; we cannot avoid it. Satan is the ruler of this world, and it is a fallen world with fallen people. BUT Jesus also promises that joy (John 15:11) and peace (John 16:33) are in Him. By abiding in Him no matter the circumstances, we can have joy and peace. And we can take courage because He has overcome the world! This is a promise and the blessing of abiding in Him. Although we will have troubles, we are NOT overcome by them because we are abiding in the One in whom our joy is made complete [full] and the One in whom we have peace. We are abiding in Him who came from heaven to earth and is the Conqueror over all--the One who is Greater over all!!! So brothers and sisters take heart!

Prayer Prompts:
  1. You don’t have to think very hard or long to come up with a list of troubles, right?  They are all around us. In one to two minutes, write down as many of them as you can. 
  2. Now that we have a list, let’s focus on the words of Jesus: He says that there will be trouble, but He also says, “Take heart!” “Take heart” means to be confident or courageous in a difficult situation.  But remember there’s more. Jesus goes on to say, “Take heart (because) I have overcome the world.” You are not alone, for the One who has conquered it all is with you. As you look at your list again, remember Jesus has overcome them all and declare out loud “I choose to take heart in this  _________________ (fill in the blank with whatever troubles you have listed) because Jesus has overcome the world.”
  3. To “Take Heart” does not mean we won’t have any more troubles, but it does mean that God will help us to get through them.  What I want you to remember from today is how to “Take Heart.”   Reflect on these passages of scripture today:

Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

1 John 5:4
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Hebrews 13:5-6
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

4. God does not waste anything. Even in your troubles and tribulations" He wants you to learn something about Himself. He may want to show you His goodness in the trouble. It may be possible that you would never know who Jesus was without the trouble.  We really don’t know why troubles come into our lives, but we know that God is good.  Because God is good, He can bring good out of the worst troubles. Take heart, go to Him in prayer today, and bring Him your troubles – that you may learn more of Him. 
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