These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (difficulties – the Message; trials and sorrows – NLT; to suffer – CEV; trouble – NIRV); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. – John 16:33.

Robert Gillespie had been drinking a little and he was sending a text message, which would have been okay except that he was driving. At 2:00am on a Tuesday morning, Robert drove his car into the side of a freight train. His injuries were not life threatening but he was trapped in his car until rescuers were able to free him. Robert has a few more problems now. He has wrecked his car and he was at fault. Hmm…possibly increased insurance rates, money to pay for the deductible, have to take time off work to handle all of this. Then there is the additional headache of his legal problems of driving while intoxicated and a careless driving charge. The police spokeswoman, Kerry Delf said: “There are all kinds of ways to get distracted these days. We don’t recommend any of them while you’re driving.”

In this world, Jesus says that we will have “tribulation.” In other words (as has been translated) we will have to suffer, have trouble, have difficulties, and have trials and sorrows. It sounds pretty bad for those of us living on Planet Earth!

Why do we have problems? Where do they come from? We could ask any of a multitude of questions but are they really necessary? The spiritual fact of life is that if we are alive on this Earth we will have problems. Some people have problems and then some people cause problems. Robert Gillespie caused himself some problems by doing what he knew he should not do. Robert not only caused himself some problems but he caused the employees of the train some problems, along with the train company some problems now having to repair the damage, and he caused emergency personnel problems by their having to respond to what could have been life threatening not only to Robert but also to the first responders. From Robert we learn that we can save ourselves and many others a whole lot of problems by not causing problems by doing things we know not to do. Of course, you knew that already didn’t you?

There are, however, other problems that come upon you unexpectedly, without warning that you did nothing to cause and apparently, no one else at least in the recent past did either. Nadege Brunacci discovered one of those unexpected problems while she was washing her hands in her bathroom. She looked over at the toilet stool and there was a seven-foot long python looking at her. She screamed, of course, and then slammed the lid shut on the toilet and put a heavy box on top of the lid. The Fire Department along with the property owner came to her rescue and they were able to capture the snake. Nadege will never be able to forget the close encounter and whenever she is brushing her teeth, she has an eye out for any kind of unwanted pest that might have wandered into her bathroom.

There are some problems that we are simply unable to prevent – we are stuck with them. To be alive on this planet means that we will encounter problems, difficulties – to put it very plainly, bad things do happen to good and bad people here on this Earth. What does Jesus say about this? “…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He also says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.” How do we keep on going when the bad things happen? We put on Jesus. In Romans 13:14 we are told, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

When your world is crumbling around you do not give in to your fleshly human wisdom that says that God is to blame. No, you must put on Jesus because only in Him will you have peace from the storms of this life. A final word and I know this one comes from Jesus as it is translated in some versions, “Cheer up!”

(Jesus tells us that we will have problems while living on this Earth. So, what did Jesus tell us to do about it?)

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