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Apr 09, 2017

Peace in Adversity

Peace in Adversity

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: John

Category: Sunday Morning

Are you going through tough times? Would you like more peace in your situation? See what Jesus promises us about peace in our struggles.

John 16:32-33   “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world”

The problem for the Jews here is that Jesus wouldn’t come in the way they thought.

Luke 19:35-38  They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it. As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

They were expecting a King, but what they would get is a cross. Israel was expecting Jesus to end Roman rule, take His place on the throne, and undo all the years of hardship.

Some 300 prophecies fulfilled and their focus was not on the prophecy but the struggle.

John 16:29  His disciples said, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech.”

They were still expecting a victory even though Jesus had just told them about the cross.

For the disciples, their preferences were still more important than His promises.

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

In Jesus there is peace; in the world there is tribulation. It wasn’t one or the other, it was both happening side by side at the same time.

Jesus would be the peace in the midst of tribulation.

Matthew 14:22-33
vs. 22  Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. Don’t assume that Jesus is unaware of your struggle.

vs. 25  And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. Jesus comes to us.

vs. 27  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” His words are the same.

vs. 28  Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Notice that Peter’s focus, His eye and heart, were focused on Jesus, but nothing has changed about the condition of the storm.

vs. 30  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” The focus shifts and he sinks.

vs. 31  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Even when he became overwhelmed, Jesus was still right there in the storm.

Jesus used the same words to His disciples at the end, “Take courage, I have overcome the world.” Literally it means to be “emboldened to action.”

Peace comes when we move from where we are to where He is at.

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is accept His peace in the midst of our adversity.

The cross was where it was all defeated and peace come first when we accept the power of the cross.

The greatest struggle we will ever face is the uncertainty of what will happen beyond this life.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

There is peace for you today, and it is found when we move from where we are to where He is at.

Digging Deeper:

- What peace have you found in your struggles?
- Who do you know that needs to experience the peace of God? What can you do to bring them to church on Sunday?