“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
—John 16:33 (NRSV)
I think it’s interesting that we see the word “persecution” in this translation. Persecution at its base is ill treatment or harassment. We have seen this for many in our world and especially in the US this last year. Maybe you have even felt persecuted in some way or another in this last year or at some point in your life.
It’s not a great feeling. In fact it downright feels terrible. It feels pretty disheartening to see it happen to others as well. I’m betting, like me, over the last year you have wondered where the peace was in our world.
The reality? Our peace doesn’t come in or from this world. Our peace comes from Jesus. Even when our world is in shambles – our peace and the peace that everyone needs comes from Jesus. That is why it’s so important to tell everyone about the peace that Jesus can bring and already has brought us. That’s why it’s so important to tell everyone about Jesus. What He is doing in your life!
That’s right! Yes, Jesus can bring us peace. But we have to remember that Jesus has already brought the peace. Jesus conquered the world. Jesus defeated death. For us! For you, for me, for our neighbor. We don’t have to be afraid, or disheartened, or face persecution alone because of what Jesus did for us. And this brings peace.
Take courage. Find peace in the fact that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it to the full. So that we might have peace in the face of some really tough circumstances where we see persecution around us or in our own lives. Take courage. Take peace. And then give that peace to someone else that needs it just as much! We all need Jesus. We all need peace – especially now.
Nichole is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She wrote the 2020 Advent Devotionals for Generations Community Church, which were published online on the original devotion.al site, which has since been incorporated into Encounter (this site).