take heart!

"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

I love how John writes-with victorious expression! He expresses such passion in this specific passage, such assurance. It amazes me, the words God gave John to write, I have overcome the world. Whoa.

This world is tough. No joke. I am serious. You probably know from experience how hard life can be. And if you don't, well, you either don't live in reality, mom and dad pay for everything, or you haven't really lived yet. 

The world breaks us down and tugs at us like a game that it's motivated to win, because that would mean giving us a crushed spirit and a sense of defeat. The world thrives on building us up, only to break us down. That can be a hard thing to process and deal with, especially when faith is low and all hope seems lost. 

I am in love with the way John retells the story of Jesus with His disciples as Jesus talks about how grief will turn to joy. I have experienced much of the same in my own life, the way grief turns into joy. Nothing nearly as grievous as loosing a loved one. But everyone grieves over different things for different reasons, and in different ways.

John 16:33 was often my go-to verse because it was a great reminder of the joy that was coming to burn out the pain. At the moment of reading the verse for the first time, I had no idea how far this would carry me! It didn't seem like a whole lot, but the reality of that verse is so true. 

I have battled an eating disorder for years, and have an anxiety disorder, as well as Bipolar Disorder. The combination of the three was absurd, but not unheard of; and it brought me pain to think about my past struggles. But even more pain to realize that I was going to have to face a butt load of crap to get through the struggles that laid ahead of me.

What I got out of John 16:33 was that, while Jesus was telling this directly to His disciples, He was also telling me directly of a future in a troubled world that would that would be full of peace. And the only was that was to be made possible was through the blood of the Lamb. 

"But take heart! I have overcome the world!"
Take heart! For the Lamb has risen and offers hope to all who follow! This verse has given me so much to fall back on; so much to look forward to! Because while I may struggle in this world, there is a light at the end of the tunnel-now and for eternity!


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