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John 16:33 (NKJV)
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
History Behind The Verse
It is important to note whom Jesus is speaking to in this verse. In this chapter of John, Jesus is having a loving conversation with His disciples. He deeply cares for them and their welfare. Jesus knows that when His disciples see Him tortured and killed they will feel very confused. Jesus is aware of what is about to occur. Because His disciples are so dependent on Him leading them, they will scatter like frightened sheep when they witness His capture. To prepare them, Jesus is taking some time to reassure them. He is stressing to His disciples of God's (and our) ultimate victory in the end. Jesus knows that He is within hours of being tortured and killed, but He is more concerned about His friends' reaction to His leaving than to His own pain. This is so amazing! Jesus loves His disciples so very much!! He knows that within a few short hours these men will witness a horrible act of violence against their leader and companion. Jesus is speaking these words to them so that when this event does take place they can reflect back on His words and feel comfort.
Just as these men in the book of John were disciples, we are also Jesus' disciples today. The words that were spoken in this verse are just as relevant to us as they were the original group of 12. We are Jesus' disciples! We will sometimes be tempted to run! We mustn't! We are His apostles!!!! We will sometimes feel like we are defeated, but we are NOT!!
What exactly is a disciple?
The original word in the New Testament wasn't the word disciple, it was the word mathetes.
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Short Definition: a learner, disciple, pupil Definition: a learner, disciple, pupil.
mathētḗs (from math-, the "mental effort needed to think something through") – properly, a learner; a disciple, a follower of Christ who learns the doctrines of Scripture and the lifestyle they require; someone catechized with proper instruction from the Bible with its necessary follow-through (life-applications).
What is an apostle?
After Jesus was crucified, the disciples became known as apostles.
The word “disciple” refers to a learner or follower. The word “apostle” means “one who is sent out.” While Jesus was on earth, His twelve followers were called disciples. The twelve disciples followed Jesus Christ, learned from Him, and were trained by Him. After His resurrection and ascension, Jesus sent the disciples out to be His witnesses. They were then referred to as the twelve apostles.
What was the relationship like between Jesus and His disciples?
One thing we have learned from Jesus (the GREATEST teacher of all time) is this:
There can be no discipleship without relationship.
Jesus spent much of His time building a relationship with His disciples.
He truly desired a close, loving relationship with these men.
He desires the same with each of us today!!!
of: the relationship between a part and a whole
Good: pleasing and welcome
Cheer: cheerfulness, optimism, or confidence
Connection To Us
As I read our verse today the word "of" really stood out to me. I am a part of a family, I am a member of a ladies' small group, I am half of a marriage union. You get the idea. As I was pondering all of these examples, I started to relate them back to the verse. Each time I mentioned the word of, it was directly related to a specific group that I was a part of! Some of the groups that I am a part of I chose to join and some of the groups I had no control over.
If you think about it, there are 2 main groups of people in this world: one group is HEAVENLY minded and looks to their FUTURE as the source of their joy, the other group is EARTHLY minded and looks to their current situation to feel joy. People who are earthly minded dwell on their present pain and tribulation, whereas people who are heavenly minded focus on the fact that their pain is only temporary. It is possible to actually feel joy while we are in the midst of earthly pain! God has enabled us to experience separation in suffering. In other words, we can be in the midst of pain, but we can feel joy in the midst of our pain. We can be physically hurting but still have joy in our souls! We can be mentally exhausted, but still have peace of mind. I want to be intentional about which "team" I chose to align! I can choose to be Heavenly minded!
Consider this : athletes follow a "game plan" in order to win games the that they play. As a member of the Heavenly minded team, we must do the same! We must have "plays" (VITAL daily routines) in place. Our daily routines need to involve things which STRENGTHEN our mind in HEAVENLY WAYS: reading our Bibles, reflecting on the promises found in God's Word, listening to uplifting faith based music, surrounding ourselves with optimistic Christian friends. Our daily lives are VITAL workouts in faith! The more time we spend building our Heavenly muscles, the more "full of good cheer" we will become!!!
**** A GREAT way to reflect on today's devotion and scripture is to COLOR!!! The coloring page found at the top of this page was created to help you GROW your Heavenly muscles!!! I challenge you to spend a few quiet minutes today coloring. As you color, think about the words found in John 16:33 and pray! Let God speak to you and strengthen you!!! A team is only as good as their coach, and as Christians we have the ULTIMATE LEADER!!! Devote some time today to sit quietly in the presence of our AMAZINGLY LOVING GOD!!!