Have you, like me, ever had a hard time finding and sustaining said peace?
I've read this verse a hundred times (I almost said a thousand, but that would be exaggerating. But a hundred ... well, it's possible. Perhaps more like 63 but that doesn't flow as well.)
I'm one of those Christians who struggles to read the Word, simply because I feel like every passage I read, I've read before. It's hard for me to take the time and mental energy to discover what is fresh, alive and active in the pages of God's Word. It's a struggle I know many long term believers face; I am no different.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
So today I sat down to check my devotions off my list; but even with my slightly religious heart, doing it pretty much just to say I did it, the Spirit blessed me with a small revelation.
How could I have never noticed this before? Well, I probably never took the time, because I read quickly, feeling like I've heard it all before.
Let's look at that verse again:
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
What?! How could I have never noticed this before? I immediately wanted to blame it on my NIV translation. I spent my whole life in the NIV and only recently, in order to attempt to find fresh stimulation from the Word, switched to the ESV. So I pulled up the NIV version ... What?! It says it too? So I pulled up the NLT .... same thing. So I pulled up the Message ... well, we all know it's not the same thing, but still a pretty cool translation:
So, it wasn't the translation ... it wasn't that I've never read the verse ... it wasn't that I've never studied it (I mean, for goodness sakes, I took a whole class on John in college.)
... I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world.
Here's what it was: I'd forgotten. I'd forgotten the importance of each and every part of each and every verse in the Bible. I'd forgotten how important it is to read and read and read again, but although I may have at one time noticed this phrase "in me" and the implications of it .... I had forgotten.
How can I be "in Him" in the midst of a tired morning, diaper changing tantrums, tense moments in business and family, lonely moments in a new city, phases of indecision and self doubt, long afternoons, and sleepless nights if I'm not reading? Sitting? Listening? Praying? How can I be "in Him" if I think I've heard it all before, and I sit to do devotions simply so I can say I did them?
Being "in Him" is a whole lot more. And that is where I will find unshakable assurance of His deep peace.