Have Peace In the Midst of Tribulation and Take Heart


by Mike Ratliff

 

“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”          His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 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 16:25-33 ESV)

I love talking with dedicated believers who are relatively new in their faith as we discuss the pressures that they are dealing with in this life that, in many cases, their plastic, “seeker-sensitive” or “emergent” form of religiosity has in no way prepared them for. Yes we are all in process and no, none of us have become so mature that we never struggle with the fires of tribulation that the world can bring to bear upon us at times. I had a recent discussion with a young man who is a growing disciple yet I have noticed that the fervent heat of his faith has really gone into the background lately. I watched him for a few days before we talked and noticed how he was still very much engrained into the entertainment and ways of the world that are so prevalent with those of his age group (college student). We had some private time and I said nothing about any of that. What I did say to him was that for the believer, seeking fulfillment from any fleshly source is deadly to our walk and designed by our enemy to distract us from humble service. I also said that I could not name one thing the world had to offer that gave me more fulfillment than spending time rightly dividing the Word of Truth and teaching others what the Holy Spirit taught me. I could see the working of the Holy Spirit in him as we talked. I pray that the next time we see each other we can talk some more about it. Continue reading