33 “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
With all the recent media talk about the spread of coronavirus, people across the nation are getting nervous and distressed. Hand sanitizer and home products like toilet paper are flying off the shelves. Reports about the most recent occurrences are followed with rapt attention. All this is done in an effort to prepare for what we are told appears to be a rather bleak and uncertain future.
As Christians, it’s easy to get caught up in this feeling of panic that’s sweeping the nation. After all, being a Christian doesn’t make us a super human. We are susceptible to all the problems and diseases found in the world just like everyone else is. That’s why we seek to use good hygiene, wash our hands, and prevent spreading germs to one another too. But does that mean we should give way to the same fear as others around us? Not really!
In the passage above Jesus said in this world we would have trouble, and he’s right! There have been and will always be problems in this world, because we live broken lives in a broken world of sin. Coronavirus, tornadoes, and other disasters are all proof of that fact. But in the midst of all that trouble Jesus reminds us of something very important. He has overcome the world!
In our lives we don’t always overcome everything do we? In fact just the opposite happens. We get overcome! Case in point; think about the last time you felt yourself getting a cold, knew it was coming, and did everything you could to prevent it, but still got sick!
Jesus is not like us however. His power as God enables him to overcome all things. Not just troubles, but diseases as well. Coronavirus, swine flu, SARS, MERS, cancer, and everything else you can think of, including the ultimate disease – death itself! Jesus can overcome such things, and already has! You see that every time Jesus healed someone of a disease. You see that in an even more powerful way when Jesus himself died, but then rose again from the dead! Jesus truly does overcome all things!
So what does this mean for us? In the midst of our troubles we are not left to fend alone by ourselves as those who don’t believe in Jesus are. As we trust in Jesus as our Savior and live with our relationship to God restored, we have the power and strength of the Lord Jesus working for our benefit and good!
Does that mean we won’t get sick or won’t get the coronavirus? No. Does that mean we won’t die. No. Some of us might, as happens with every disease. But even then, we are NOT overcome by the disease. We overcome it by the power and strength of our Savior Jesus who takes us to be with him in his eternal kingdom!
In that confidence the apostle Paul and every Christian before us has faced hard times just like we do, with hope, confidence and strength! Jesus enables us to raise a shout of victory even before our battles begin, and boldly declare, “37 …in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Pastor Paul Krentz