Read John 16:33
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.” (NIV)
The experts tell us there is a fish in the Amazon basin that is colloquially called ‘Four Eyes’. Apparently it swims near the surface and two of its eyes focus on the world above the water and the other two eyes keep watch beneath the water.
Not a bad picture of life for the follower of Jesus. We live in two worlds it seems. One world,our immediate material world,holds out the inevitability of trouble. Jesus yet again is the supreme realist: so unlike some of his misguided triumphalist followers who reckon we can avoid them by attending the right conferences or saying the right prayers.
The other reality is that of the new heavens and the new earth,one day to be ushered in by Jesus. So while we expect trouble on earth,we dare not focus on it as the ultimate reality. And this is why Jesus mentions peace along with the promise of trouble. We can have peace not because following him gets us out of pain and tragedy. We have it because he is with us in the midst of all this mess.
In Jesus’ thinking,peace is not the absence of trouble but the presence of God in the midst of trouble.