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April 4 – Joy & peace

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.John 16:33

Scripture reading: John 16:25-33

Being a Christian does not mean you become immune to the hardships of life. Anyone who’s lived long enough knows that we suffer pain and sickness, financial hardships, death of family or friends, inter-personal conflicts and are scorned by the world for holding Biblical convictions. Granted, there are some false teachers that preach a “health and wealth” gospel, but they didn’t learn that from Jesus. He made it clear that if they persecuted Him, they will persecute His followers. And, in the passage above, He says, “in this world you will have tribulation.” Not “might have,” but “will have.”

But Jesus then says “take heart.” Do not wallow in your hardships. Do not despair. Take heart! He isn’t saying “just grin and bear it.” He tells us that He has overcome the world. The hurts and pains we experience are temporary. As Paul says in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Why? Because Christ has overcome the world and He will make all things new.

This truth affords the Christian a “peace that passes understanding” because by faith the Christian can see beyond the present circumstances. And that, in turn, brings great joy to the believer.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord would remove the hardships, or reconcile the conflicts in your life and that if it is His will to allow these to remain, you will trust in the future grace of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church(URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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