Be Brave, Be Bold, Be at Peace

John 16: 29-33
Acts 19: 1-8 / Ps 68: 2-7

I have told you this so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble; but take courage, I have conquered the world.
(John 16:33)

God‘s kindness is beyond all measure
No cause to worry or to fear,
Be brave to act in times of pressure,
Be bold in Christ, He’s always near.

His disciples said, “Now you are talking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. By this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have told you this so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble; but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16: 29-33)

Reflection

Our Lord knew that in just a few hours His apostles would lose faith and abandon Him, once the temple guards came to arrest Him. He knew that their frail faith was based merely on the miracles and healing that He had performed in their midst. They had not yet known who Jesus really was in the context of His mission on earth. This enlightenment would only come after His resurrection and ascension, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Still, Jesus had to assure them, that with Him they would have peace, just as He was at peace because the Father was with Him. They would be going through a lot of persecution in the coming days, but they had no reason to fear, because by His death and resurrection Jesus would be victorious against evil, and they too would prevail over their own trials.

Hardly a day passes that we do not encounter problems or troubles. The devil of this world is always trying to disrupt if not corrupt God’s plan in our lives. But all of his schemes are futile because God has already been victorious in Christ Jesus. The problems and hardships that are deployed against us only serve to strengthen our resolve to win all our personal battles for Christ. We have learned to accept that our faith is still a work in progress, and that true peace lies in a heart full of faith in Jesus Christ. Life’s trials and tribulations play an important part in the development of that faith.

Every day, we need to “be brave and be bold”, and never listen to the enemy’s lies and negative promptings. We must purge all fears and anxieties from our thoughts and feelings, and instead break out in praise and thanksgiving – because Jesus is our Lord and He is our constant help in times of trouble.

It has been said that there is nothing to fear when one fears God. The prospect of offending God by committing a sin is the only thing that we must fear. But with regard to the ‘threats’ of the world, we take courage in our Savior, for even in His humanity, He had subdued the world and all its evil.

There will always be turmoil in the world because of pride, greed, hatred and all kinds of wickedness and imperfections. Being in the fellowship of Christ and God the Father is like being inside the eye of a storm. It is the only place where there is peace and calm. “Take courage,” our Lord assured us. There is nothing to fear as long as we are in Him. “You will remain unscathed, with His faithfulness for shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:7) As long as “Yahweh is the fortress of my life, of whom should I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

In Your company, Lord, there is no fear. In this Brotherhood where You have placed us, there is only trust, hope, contentment, peace and love. Knowing that You are in us, all of these are in us too. Amen.

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