Take heart. We’ve all heard that expression before, haven’t we?
I’ve never known its exact meaning but have always assumed, due to context clues, that it means something along the lines of “be comforted.” I finally looked up the dictionary definition and learned that it meant “feel encouraged,” “take comfort,” or “take confidence from something.” That last definition has come to mean a lot to me through-
out this heavy year. 2020 has been rough for all of us. There has been global fear, unrest, and uncertainty, which has made it difficult to find peace. It has been difficult, yes, but not impossible. There’s a bible verse in the book of John that has helped me to, as the dictionary says, take confidence in something.
John 16:33 says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” This is Jesus talking. He had been teaching the disciples and revealing what was to come. The part where he says, “here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows,” was where he was summing up the hardships to come. I think you might agree with me that we are definitely in a time of trials and sorrows, but what Jesus said to the disciples applies to us also. He says to take heart, in other words, take confidence in something. And what is the “something” he’s referring to? It is the fact that He has overcome the world. So no matter what terrors your eyes see and what troubles this world brings, take heart in the fact that Jesus has already overcome it. Sometimes, it takes a little while to see the physical manifestation of that truth, but know that the time WILL see it before your very eyes. In the meantime, you’ll need to make a conscious decision not to be deterred by what things currently look like.
For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) The world issues playing out before us are no surprise to God. He has already laid out solutions. Our not seeing the solutions does not change the fact that they are already in play. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) There is nothing too big for God and this is because there is nothing bigger than God. It makes sense to feel powerless against a pandemic. It’s understandable to be discouraged from believing racial injustice that has lasted for centuries will ever end. It is tempting to lose all hope in these dark times, but take heart because you serve a God who is capable of making the impossible possible. God parted the sea for the Israelites to escape from the Egyptians. God made the sun stand still for Joshua and his army. Jesus healed countless people throughout the new testament and this includes bringing the dead back to life. Then Jesus went on to die for the entire Human race, freeing us from eternal damnation. And we know how that story goes. He came back to life and lives on the right hand of His father, our father, God. Let’s not read the bible as if its chapters are imagined stories written in some distant time. The bible is the history of the Human race’s relationship with a supernatural God. We need supernatural intervention in these hard times. Thankfully, the God we serve is a supernatural, endless, all-powerful, all-knowing being who
unconditionally loves us, his children and wants to do more than we can imagine for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) So take heart because we are not forgotten. In fact, He is working hard for us behind the scenes. Wait on the Lord. He will surely show Himself. In the meantime, I pray God sharpens our sight so that we can recognize what He is doing in our daily lives. He’s doing so more than we notice, so much more than we are focusing our eyes to see. So I pray that He causes us to notice, and that He calms us enough to accept the peace that He has made available for us in Jesus’ name.