Journal Jn 16 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Observation: I used to read this verse so much differently than what it plainly says…
Analysis: I think that one of the issues that I have with the Scriptures is just reading what it says and comprehending the sentences.
Take John 16:33: Instead of separating the sentences Jesus spoke as 3 separate thoughts, with 3 separate meanings He wants us to have, I conflate them, I run them together to make them mean something else entirely.
I took “In Me you will have peace; in the World I will have Tribulation; but, because Jesus has overcome the World, if I have peace in Him, I won’t have tribulation anymore.”
That is so much a stretch it is ridiculous. Yet it was so for me. I pursued peace to avoid tribulation (which is the short version)—which certainly doesn’t seem the meaning behind John 16:33.
Romans 12:2—“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by TESTING you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect…” says the Holy Spirit through Paul.
I went to the emergency room this past week; ambulance and everything. I guess that may fall under the category of “tribulation” of a sort. Thing was, I was “peaceful.” In Him. I think the reason why is because before this episode happened, I had been stirring up the empty space between my ears with pursuing Him through His Word, meeting with another brother in book study and hospitality—specifically talking about our walk in Christ.
This “get together” we are practicing was not an “if/then” project to avoid tribulation—because Jesus plainly says, “You will have tribulation, guaranteed…”—but because we are doing these things, when tribulation comes, as a by-product we are equipped to handle tribulation better.
Candidly, I handled and endured the emergency room better than I handled the week after (I am a poor patient) with not tending to my character before my wife. I was (am) short tempered, short-fused, and all the other sinful outputs of a “non-Christlike” character anybody could imagine—poster boy of what I need to be saved from.
Hebrews 3:13 says, “…exhort (or encourage) one another every day (as long as it is called today), that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” This scripture is so very important for the members of a local church because it implies direct care for one another’s walk in Christ and to avoid the lies of sin.
This kind of encouragement is more that, “I love and (emotionally) care for you; it also has that implication of exhorting the hearing to follow Christ, to remember and obey certain Scriptures, to not fall away, to be “in Him” and enjoy His peace.
This kind of care, in my experience, isn’t found much. I think it is because, like in my case, I look to receive and not give. This kind of care takes time and is a commitment. However, it is an imperative tool that Jesus gives to care for each other and to grow a healthy church.
I was transparent earlier in this post, not to polish my halo—far from that. It was to hopefully present an example; not only for my remembrance and reinforcement of practicing transparency, but to give to readers what it looks like.
Prayer: Father, this past week, even today, I fail you miserably. Thank you for letting me put aside the Justification side of things and speak from the Sanctification POV. Following You? I am so bad. I want to get back on the horse and ride.
Reveal, make known the path of righteousness for me again. Help me not harbor ill thoughts about my wife and to embrace again what you want me to be as a husband, as a man of God.