I’ve always loved John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” My heart has known that it’s a powerful verse, and this morning I realized it’s in the same way my heart found one of my favorite lines in Lord of the Rings (the book – because the line isn’t in the movie, although a hollow version of the scene is in the extended Return of the King)
Jesus doesn’t bother with our tribulations. He goes beyond that and overcomes the whole of the world that encompasses, houses, holds these tribulations. And by His words, by His life, I am not set free from my tribulations. But in this verse I find courage to face them, endure them, withstand them, grow maybe and even find peace in the midst of them. Because as difficult and overwhelming and scary and painful and hard as it may seem to me, Christ gives me His perspective that it is a small and passing thing. He has overcome the world.
“Far above the Ephel Dath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
:: The Return of the King