Day 22

Jesus the Conqueror

from the John reading plan


John 16:1-33, Isaiah 32:14-18, Romans 8:12-17

BY Guest Writer

Text: John 16:1-33, Isaiah 32:14-18, Romans 8:12-17

Most mornings, I go to a local coffee shop in East Nashville where I order my two-dollar coffee, sit in a corner, and try to bang out a few words on my machine. They know my name here. They welcome me in the door, ask how my writing is going, and never give me the slant-eye when my coffee goes cold, while I continue to suck electricity from their walls and Wi-Fi out of their air. Here, it’s easy to pretend that life is all lattes and progress.

But the reality is, everyone around me is experiencing their own pain. The girl who stops by my table just had a miscarriage. The grey-haired man eating his oatmeal while reading the paper just lost his wife last year. The exhausted, lonely mother at the register keeps trying to order her coffee, but stops to run out the door after her two-year-old escape artist. The newspaper sitting next to me screams its headlines of tragedy: War Rages On! Politicians Still Lie! Poverty Eats Away at the Hungry!

We’re all acquainted with our own brand of heartache. It’s enough to bring you to the same conclusion as Solomon in Ecclesiastes: “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).

This view of suffering is the fare the world offers up to us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The world tells us that if we’re hurting, it’s up to us to change our circumstances so we won’t hurt anymore. We’re to follow our heart, chase our dreams, and forsake everything—even our responsibilities, family, and God— in order to secure our own happiness in the world. But in the midst of all that noise, Jesus provides a much different view of suffering.

With some of His last words to His disciples, Jesus predicted that trouble was coming. He said they would be kicked out of the temple—losing the social center of their lives (Luke 21:5-6). They would be ostracized, killed, and separated from one another. But most importantly, He told them to expect these things, to not be surprised when they happened. Grief would be a part of their experience here on earth, just as it’s a part of ours.

But Jesus doesn’t leave us in our sorrow. He promises to turn our grief into joy (John 16:20). He tells us we’re to have courage because He’s already conquered the evil in this world (John 16:33)—and, in fact, He’s making us a new one (Isaiah 65:17).

The world tells us to break free from grief because our time here is limited. Jesus invites us to welcome our grief as the precursor to eternity. In that way, our pain is not a state of being that needs to be avoided; it is an access point to the throne of God.

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Claire Gibson is a freelance writer and editor whose work has been featured both locally and nationally in publications including The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine. An Army kid who grew up at West Point, New York, Claire is currently growing roots in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves her husband, Patrick, and their dog, Winnie.

Post Comments (91)

91 thoughts on "Jesus the Conqueror"

  1. Kandace says:

    Yayyy Nashville! Love this read.

  2. Charissa says:

    It struck me when Jesus said “It is good for you that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go I will send Him to you” (v. 7). Jesus left that relationship with his disciples to lead them even closer to the Father, through the Holy Spirit.

  3. Cheri says:

    “…our pain is not a state of being that needs to be avoided; it is an access point to the throne of God.” I love this perspective!! This gives our suffering here on earth such new meaning. Without suffering, we might feel as if we don’t need Father. We could just go happily through our days, depending on ourselves, our circumstances and the people around us to give us peace. But, when we have suffering, we are reminded that we can’t do it on our own. We need the one who can see the whole picture to carry us through. Thank You, Father, that You love us enough to allow suffering as a means to keep us close to You.

  4. Heather Fringer says:

    “I assure you. You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.” This scripture is so true. It feels like no matter what, the world just wants to beat you down to the point that you cry and then they laugh at you not caring about anything. But the day will come when Jesus will come down from the Heavens and beautiful sounds will be heard, angels singing, trumpets playing and we will not be the ones crying anymore! Our sorrow will finally be turned to joy and the rest of the world’s joy, to sorrow when they learn that it’s too late. I await that day.

  5. Keri McCue says:

    “The world tells us to break free from grief because our time here is limited. Jesus invites us to welcome our grief as the precursor to eternity.” – This is so true! And I think that’s why in heartache we can feel true peace. Not because we don’t care about what’s happening or because it doesn’t bother us but rather because we know the Father is in control. We know true Joy even in the midst of sadness! I love that!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.co

  6. Mel Proctor says:

    That last two paragraphs is good and I’m going to ponder it the rest of the day. Our pain can bring us to the throne of God…indeed it does just that. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and reflections.

  7. Kelly says:

    Yes that last paragraph is powerful. I will be examining how our pain. Rings us to the throne. How does this look as I wake up and feel pain. I go to Christ and ask for his throne to rain? I think so. I like it!

    1. Kari says:

      Thank you for this Kelly! I was so confused what they meant by our pain is the access point to God. I really wanted to get it though. I was reading through the comments and only getting more confused. Your simple, one sentence, comment brought an entirely new meaning to this and to my life! I will be thinking about it often. I’m sure you had no idea when you were typing that as to what meaning it would bring to someone’s life. Thank you! And thank you SRT for this amazing devotional today!

  8. Megan says:

    Wow! What a powerful truth! I am no longer a slave to fear but I am a child of God. Suffering may last all night but His joy comes in the morning! I love the last paragraph, “The world tells us to break free from grief because our time here is limited. Jesus invites us to welcome our grief as the precursor to eternity. In that way, our pain is not a state of being that needs to be avoided; it is an access point to the throne of God.” As I have been going through a season of grief, I praise the Lord that as painful as it is, it has brought me closer to my Savior and made me long for Him like no other.

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