33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 (NIV)
Although the Bible reminds us that we shall all live through troubles in this world, many Christians feel that we should be immune to frightening and painful experiences. In our heads we accept that bad things happen to good people; in our hearts we feel exempt until we come face to face with terror or heartache.
Times such as these test our faith and call for courage.
While we may think of courage as fearlessness or daring, more fitting synonyms might be determination and endurance.
In the quote above Jesus urges his followers to “take heart.” When I looked up this phrase in a thesaurus, one of the optional phrases was, “Look up!”
When discouraged by circumstances, we can look up to our God and Savior and have peace despite our troubles.
Perhaps the Amplified Bible says it best:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].2 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified Bible)
As the family of God we must cling to His Word.
19 Encourage each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. 20 Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:19-20 (ERV)