“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)
The Christian becomes heir to unfathomable treasures. We who hear the call are blessed beyond words. Those so moved as to leave their former idols and turn their hearts towards God and His Son, will have a place near to Him as their prize. Jesus comes to us. He teaches us. He spends years cultivating our knowledge of Him and the wonders of God. He comes to pay for us to be together with His own life. Now He is telling us how it will be in our remainder of days here. He does not want us to be surprised to find that the world will not be kind to the true believer. He wants us to know that it will be rough going for those who step out of our race´s parade. So He gives us this precious jewel to hold onto. He gives our hearts reason to fly even though they may feel the heaviness. He tells us that this world will be cruel, but He has overcome it. He has won! Are we aware of how uplifting His words can be for some?
Before we race off to the celebration dinner, would it be wise to consider who He is talking to? There may be a popular notion about in religious circles that would congratulate every professed believer who had made a bold statement of belief. There are many Christians who think that if they take a stand one day and utter the words that say they believe in Jesus, that they are suddenly and miraculously added to the list of saints. They could have been tricked into believing that this was all that is asked of them. What they may never imagine is that there is more of themselves that must be included in this transaction.
What might not be popular to sell to the new convert or to the congregation in whole, is that to follow Christ literally means not to follow anything else. Those who really have made Christ their goal are those who have actually got their hearts consent to love Him before all our other treasures. This means everything! This does not mean that choosing Jesus can be done on a certain day or a certain allotted times. It means that we lay down the right to rule our own selves. It means that we choose Him to place our priorities. It means that we choose Him to show us what love is and who to share it with. It means that the controls leave our hands. It means that we will actively seek to know Him more intimately than any other person on earth. It means that to follow Christ is to stop chasing all the other desires of our hearts. How many Christians today are doing this? How many good people even know they should not be looking at the delights all around us but looking for the delights to be found in Him? How many very religious people know they should walk through their day refusing to look with our earthly eyes, but by seeing everything through the eyes of Jesus? How many of us know we can follow Jesus so closely and so fully that we will know who can take heart?
Please find in us a remnant that concerns themselves with You. Look inside our hearts and tell us if we are the ones who truly love You. Tell our aching souls that actually we do yearn for You. Tell us that it is us who feed from Your every Word. Tell us again today that our painful separation from You will end. Let us know that You have conquered this world that does not want to understand us. Whisper to us that we are the ones who can take heart in You!