"I have told you these things so you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
A faith-filled Christian in our Mississippi neighborhood talked about always going to God in troubles. He had seen many: his arms bore scars from burns, his heart was weak, and he had experienced terrible racism. “All of us know troubles,” he said. “We are either in trouble right now, we just got out of trouble, or we are heading toward it.”
At first I thought he was a pessimist or that I, as a Christian, was exempt. But God’s Word tells me my neighbor was right. David writes "a righteous man may have many troubles" (Psalm 34:19). Jesus, perfect Son of God, knew there would be troubles in this world. Sickness, job loss, wayward children, disloyal friends, natural disasters are just some of the troubles we face in this sinful world. So He promised peace—His peace.
Troubles hit hard and seem impossible when we try to handle them on our own. My neighbor knew that we need God’s Spirit-filled strength to tackle tough times. Through the Sacraments, we are filled with the power to face the world’s troubles. Martin Luther recognized the trouble-quotient of life: “We should be happy in the present in such a way that you remember also the day of adversity.”
Trouble is part of this world; but during Lent, we take heart as we remember that Christ in resurrection has overcome the world.
Prayer: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. Amen.
Response: Claim Christ’s peace (see John 14:27) in the midst of trouble.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)