These things, I have spoken unto you, that in me, you might have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
It was a hint of resurrection. Jesus, sensing what was to come, attempts to reassure his clueless disciples. They would not be his only followers to wrestle with indecision, misunderstanding and wrong-headed agendas. In spite of their efforts to keep up and to wear courageous expressions, they would quickly fall into despair. They would be faced with the collapse of all they knew and everything they had hoped for. And yet …
The power of Easter resurrection through Jesus changed everything. Their cluelessness convulses at first into flight and understandable fear. But quickly, a redemptive and unexplainable power exudes from their previous weaknesses so palpable that it still reverberates today. In spite of our very similar shortcomings and short-sightedness, this resurrection power from Jesus generates a resiliency in his followers then and now that life-changing outcomes still resonate in countless arenas around the globe everyday.
What is it today that you feel needs to be overcome? What obstacles trouble you this month? Where in your life do you feel weak and inadequate? What is it that is necessary for you to succeed where failure appears the only potential outcome?
Our Personal Responsibility
Practice makes perfect. We are expected to demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow and work on those things we want to improve. We have a personal responsibility to try as hard as we can to do whatever we can to repair our circumstances. A healthy faith demands this. But, as many of us have discovered over the years, sometimes those areas in our lives that need improving appear too vast, broad, and confounding. Sometimes, our feelings of inadequacy and our need for improvement overwhelms our sense of potential. And yet …
It is into this breach of personal short-falling that Jesus speaks. It is with resurrection in Jesus that resurrection within the results of our own absurdities becomes real. As Jesus reassures his disciples, he reminds us we are not living on our own and only for ourselves. Others have gone this way before us, our ancestors in the faith fought the same battles, lived with the same uncertainty, dealt with similar adversities.
Whatever it is that lies ahead today, there exists an entire salvation history behind you. You have the power to rise and the strength to overcome. Live this truth today. And “be for good cheer,” as Jesus says; “I have overcome the world.” This makes all the difference.
You may be disappointed if you fail. But you are doomed to fail if you don’t try.