Jesus has overcome the world. We live in a world ravaged by sin, with unavoidable suffering, unexpected occurrences, tragedies and mishaps.
“Lord Jesus knows my heart and gives me peace as I go through storms in life..”
Jesus told His disciples in the final verse (v33) of John 16: “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.”
According to the church calendar, we have just been through the last 40 days of Christ’s life on earth. The church experiences, in a deep and profound way, Christ’s undertaking of His awesome mission of salvation. It is specially poignant when He told His disciples, “…you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone...” (v32) Jesus was fully aware of His own situation, and knew His disciples would soon face the same opposing forces and grim circumstances.
What Christ goes on to say in this last verse has an enduring impact on the church. We will never be alone. Christ says that He does not face life’s critical challenges alone, for God is with Him. What we fear most when confronted with trials and tribulations or even death is to be overwhelmed with feelings of being alone, forsaken and forgotten.
Once, a pastor who was about to undergo surgery told me that he could not dispel the fear of having to go through it alone. Our prayer, of course, was for the Lord’s presence throughout.
Our Lord understands us. Having someone who knows our heart gives us great courage to face life’s challenges. All the more if this someone is the Lord Himself, who loves us completely. He treats us as His intimate friends and keeps nothing from us, and He also knows us! “Lord Jesus knows my heart and gives me peace as I go through storms in life…” These words from a Hokkien hymn are firmly rooted in the hearts of many of our seniors. Jesus has overcome the world. We live in a world ravaged by sin, with unavoidable suffering, unexpected occurrences, tragedies and mishaps. We become victims and experience misery and desolation.
Jesus has overcome the world, for He has vanquished Satan who holds power over this sinful world and whose diabolical strategy is to subdue man with “death”. He puts in man’s heart the helpless and hopeless fear of death. Jesus Christ has triumphed over death and in Him we are free from the fear of death.
This year, the whole month of May falls within the Easter season. Christ’s resurrection gives a refreshing and rejuvenating message to the universe. It is thus meaningful that a series of celebratory events and gatherings have been planned for May – Mothers’ Day, Trinity Theological College’s Graduation Service, Aldersgate SG 2014 … For us, life is all the more meaningful because of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung was re-elected President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in 2012 for the quadrennium. He has been a Methodist pastor for 30 years and is an adjunct lecturer at Trinity Theological College since 1996.