“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
Jesus is speaking these words to His disciples and to each of us who follow Him. In the midst of hardship and suffering, we are able to find peace. That peace is not merely the absence of anguish, but it is a positive blessing. It is the feeling we are on firm ground and that we will get through the pain and turmoil.
I am betting a lot of you, like me, are hungry for these words today! As I write this blog, yet another dreadful scene is unfolding, this time in Louisiana. Fast and furiously these tragedies are coming at us, leaving us engulfed in emotion. We are sad, angry, frightened, outraged, anxious and grieving. We want to know, “what can we do?” Allowing our emotions to flow through us gives us the opportunity to recognize and express what we are feeling. Some are comfortable to do this surrounded by people, and others prefer a private time. I myself prefer some quiet time where I may sort through my feelings and go to that place in my heart where I can meet up with God. That place where I can cry out to Him in these times of trouble. When we make God our refuge through prayer, He hears our cry and is faithful. When we call on Him to comfort and heal His people, and trust Him to take on the burdens of our heart, we find that His peace, which surpasses all understanding, will soothe and protect us. Jesus ends His answer to His disciples on a note of triumph. “I have overcome the world.” And though our faith in Christ, we can too.
In my own personal journey through grief, I always found that “doing” something lifted my spirits. Taking a walk, listening to music, reading, trying a new recipe, or journaling, encouraged me, but nothing filled me with peace like prayer. I invite you to trust in the Lord and pray with me. We can be filled with peace, even when the world around us is not.