“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.”
This past Monday, from The Morning Dispatch (A digital media company providing engaged citizens with fact-based reporting and commentary on politics, policy and culture—informed by conservative principles.[i]), I read the following headlines:
- The Taliban continued to march through Afghanistan over the weekend, capturing Kabul on Sunday as the Afghan government collapsed and its president, Ashraf Ghani, fled the country. President Joe Biden deployed an additional 1,000 troops to the region in an effort to aid the evacuation of the United States’ embassy in the capital city.
- Nearly 1,300 people are dead and tens of thousands more injured or displaced after Haiti was rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The country—still reeling from the assassination of its president last month—is expected to be hit by a tropical depression later today.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released data on Friday showing that, globally, July 2021 was the hottest month in at least 142 years, outpacing July 2016, July 2019, and July 2020 by 0.02° F…
- New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement Friday that lawmakers would suspend their impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the governor announced his resignation last week. “We have been advised…of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office,” the statement read.
- A 22-year-old man shot and killed five people in the United Kingdom on Friday—including his own mother and a 3-year-old girl—in the country’s largest mass shooting in over a decade. The gunman allegedly shot and killed himself before police arrived.
- At least 28 were killed and dozens more injured when a fuel-filled warehouse exploded in northern Lebanon on Sunday.
Additionally, other headlines included:
- Wildfires are raging across Europe and North America as scorching temperatures and dry conditions fuel the blazes that have cost lives and destroyed livelihoods.
- A major worry right now is Delta, a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, which was first identified in India in December. It swept rapidly through that country and Great Britain before reaching the U.S., where it is now the predominant variant.
- Radical Islamic militias are targeting Christians for slaughter all across Africa just because of their faith. In Nigeria, more than 120 Christian kids were recently kidnapped from a Baptist school. A few were freed or escaped, but more than 80 helpless children are still being held for ransom by radical Islamic gunmen.
So, with all this bad news, how should a believer live? How is it possible to have peace in a world that is coming apart at the seams? And, should we be surprised at the condition of the world? No! We should not be surprised. Moreover, we should have total peace. Why? Read John 16:33 again. “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.”
The Bible makes it very clear that this world is a landmine of problems. Why? In a word, sin. The Lord warned Adam and Eve that the moment they disobeyed his one command they would die. Genesis 2:16-17 states clearly, “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” As you probably know, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, ate from that forbidden tree, and in that moment, death entered our world (Romans 5:12). Death, violence, murder, strife and war became a way of life. Over the last several thousand years nothing much has changed.
In Matthew 24:6-8, Jesus says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Are we experiencing birth pains? There can be no doubt that we are. These ‘birth pains’ will only increase in frequency and intensity in the coming months and years. I do not say this to cause alarm or fear. I’m just repeating what Jesus said 2,000 years ago.
Back to John 16:33. “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.” Jesus informs us of the coming days – not to alarm us – but so that we will not be surprised. In Him, we find our peace. As we believers focus our attention, our gaze, away from the problems of the world and upon the grandeur and power of Almighty God, our problems and fears should fade away. Jesus has overcome the world. He did this when He arose from the dead and later ascended into heaven. In Him, we have the power to be overcomers as well. One day, Jesus is going return to this sin-scarred, war-torn world and restore it to its original glory. In that day, all wars will cease. Death will be no more. Tears will be wiped away. And joy will be the reward for everyone who is in Christ. This is our hope. Do you have this hope? I hope so!