I’m an optomistic person, but let’s face it, life is hard. We experience all kinds of difficulties and hardships, pain and heartbreak. Even Jesus tells us that we’re going to experience trials and sorrows in this world. But He doesn’t stop there. He encourages us to take heart because He has overcome the world.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NLT)
Can you feel the tension? I can.
Suffering through the trials of life is a reality. But so is hope and peace. Jesus makes all the difference.
When we walk with Jesus, it’s possible to feel peace even when life is beating us up. His joy can flood our hearts even as we’re being flooded with hardships. It doesn’t seem possible, but it is!
Sometimes I’m too quick to dismiss the pain. I look with hope on the future and I know that this too shall pass and that my future with Jesus is secure. But I’ve learned that it’s important to feel our feelings.
Does that seem silly? Well, it’s not! For too many years I stuffed my emotions and pretended everything was fine. You see, I didn’t know how to process them. I didn’t know what I was feeling or how to feel it. I was scared to open the floodgates to my emotions because they were too big and mysterious.
I’ve learned that our emotions are not our enemies. They’re not evil or sinful. God gave us our emotions and we need to allow ourself to feel them, to process them with Jesus by our side.Tweet
Jesus felt big emotions. Before He was arrested and crucified on a rugged cross, He spent the night in His favorite garden talking to God. He knew what was coming and He didn’t want to go through that kind of pain. He was so distressed and in so much agony that His sweat was like blood.
“And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’ And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like drops of blood falling down to the ground.” ~Luke 22:39-44 (ESV)
God didn’t leave Jesus to experience His trial alone. He sent an angel to strengthen Him and God never left Jesus until the last moment when the totality of the sins of humanity rested fully on Jesus and He took his last breath.
Our Lord is with us in the midst of our trials too. Like we read above, Jesus has overcome the world and offers us His peace. After Jesus rose from the dead, defeating sin and making a way for us to have a relationship with God, He appeared to His disciples and made them a promise.
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ’I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” ~Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
That promise is for us too. Jesus is with us always, even in the midst of incredible hardship and pain. Especially then!
I want to encourage you today. If you’re going through something difficult, you’re not alone. Acknowledge what you’re feeling, take those feelings to the Lord, and ask Him to fill you with His peace. There is incredible freedom in Jesus, and I pray that will experience the freedom, peace, and joy found in our unity with Him.
Is there a time you’ve felt the peace of Jesus during a trial? I’d love to hear about your experience. Let me know in the comments. If you have a prayer request, I’d be honored to pray for you as well.
Until next time,