Whenever we face a trial or challenge of any kind, one of our first questions is always, “How long will it last?”
We sprain an ankle or break a bone, and we don’t skip a beat before asking the doctor how long before it heals. When we tighten up the budget due to an unexpected expense, we immediately calculate how long we’ll have to pinch pennies before it’s paid off. And when we’re considering a stricter diet or weight loss plan, it’s not long before we consider how long it’ll take before we start seeing results.
All in all, whenever a challenge comes our way and the future looks unpleasant, we want to know how long we have to put up with these new set of circumstances, when things will get better or clear up, and when we can finally resume life as normal. If we’re able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, then maybe we can convince ourselves the time in between seems doable, and we can muster up enough strength to push through.
Before Jesus left this earth, He gave His disciples ample warning: “In a little while, you won’t see me . . . I’ll leave the world and return to the Father.” They panicked. What do you mean you’re leaving us? How long until you return? What does the timeline of “a little while” actually look like?
Jesus picked up on their fear and anxiousness, and as our Comforter and Savior, He replied, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
As we face into unknowns and the future makes us uneasy, may we hear the reassuring voice of Jesus. He already told us we’d face these trials and that we’d feel many sorrows, but He also told us we could have peace. He’s already overcome every single challenge we face, so we can take heart. With Jesus’ strength and in His power, we too will overcome.
- Are you stressed out over the challenges you’re facing? Or are you relying on Jesus’ victory and resting in His peace?
- May this be our prayer today: “Jesus, you knew I’d face these challenges today, but you also knew I could have peace amidst the unknown. Thank you for your overcoming power in my life!”
17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”
29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. 30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
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