“In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world.” -John 16:33
There are a lot of catch phrases about trying to stay positive when things are hard . . .
Is the glass half empty or half full?
Always look on the bright side of life.
Where one door closes, another one opens.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Some of those sayings are more helpful than others. When you are frustrated, they can be down-right aggravating. Nevertheless, the intention is always the same – look for the good. When we look for the good, we can usually find it. For example, rain brings life.
But life does have its share of disappointments, mistakes, bad news, tough relationships. Not every day is the best day of my life. Some days the shadows make it tough to look on the bright side. A lot of days are a mixed bag of good and bad with things that are amazing and sad.
Jesus even reminded us of this. “In this life you will have trouble,” John 16:33. Bummer. It would be nice to be exempted. Right?
In the dark times, when it is hard to find the light, we can’t always understand why some things happen. But we can believe in a God who keeps His promises. We can have hope, even in the toughest times, because we know He can make something good out of something bad. Remember the rest of John 16:33. “But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world.”
These are not empty words from Jesus. He has already overcome the world – even death!
In John 11, Jesus spoke the words and his friend Lazarus was resurrected from the dead. “Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.”
Jesus also brought a little girl back to life in Mark 5. “While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore’… (Jesus) went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old).”
Jesus came back to life himself. In Matthew 28, the angel says to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
The next time you are having a difficult day or it is hard finding the positive, pause and be still. Think about how God can make something beautiful. Remember how powerful God truly is, that He has already “won the battle over the world.” And for the fun of it, open your Bible and find some of the many, many times God came through for His people. -Lia