“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
Guarantees are funny. They sound as good as a promise, but never live up to one. They scream security, but whisper bankruptcy. I know, you can hear the infomercial now. The corny voice with a number to call in bold white letters, “And if you don’t like it, you have a 30 day money back guarantee.” It’s comforting to hear, see and read, but it’s hollow, shallow, and empty. I mean how many times have you guaranteed something and fulfilled not that guarantee? Not many I am sure. I remember I was watching a basketball game with my two best friends and I just knew that my team was going to win. I basically saw it in a vision. My team lifting the trophy, me clapping my hands applauding my squad for winning, rubbing it in everyone’s faces that I was right. So I turn to my friend, I look at him dead in the eyes and say, “My team is going to win… I guarantee it.” The dreaded “G” word came out of my mouth. But I meant it, heck, I felt it. So the game goes on and I’m on bated breath, just waiting for my team to go in a lead so I can utter the words, “I told you.” But the moment never came, in fact as the time ran out on the game. My team was the one who was losing, and they lost bad. My moment of glory was turned into a moment of shame. It felt bad, but what felt worse was the fact that “I guaranteed it”. I put my lowly human stamp on it, and boy was I humbled. Not much has changed 10 years later. In fact, my best friends have a list of all the times I have predicted or guaranteed something in sports and it not come true. The list is far too detailed for my liking and far too long to share.
But here is the thing, God is full of guarantees. I mean Jesus has the reputation of always being right. It’s actually quite remarkable. I keep waiting for something to not be true, and trust me I will be waiting and eternity and beyond. But of all the things to give you a guarantee of Jesus is John 16:33 gives you a guarantee of something that comes as a twist. He says, “In this world you will have trouble…” I mean what a thing to tell His believers. Many people believe that when you become a christian things become easier. The storms become a light breeze. The problems become simple, and the answers even simpler, but that is not what is being said here. Jesus is giving His followers a guarantee, while us believers live on this planet, trouble, trials, and tribulations are coming, and they are not letting up. For those dealing with trouble right now, that is no surprise and for those who aren’t dealing with trouble are remembering the times they had. You see while we live on this earth trouble is apart of the framework and fabric of this world. It’s unavoidable and inevitable. But what does, Jesus tells us to do. He says, “Take heart.” In other words, be courageous, be confident, and certain. How?! How are we to do that? Jesus tells how. He says, “I have overcome the world.” What is funny is that He said this before He died on the cross. He gave you two guarantees in one sentence. 1. You will have trouble. 2. It’s ok, cause I will overcome the world, even before I do it. You see, Jesus is full of guarantees, and all of them are sure and true. But it doesn’t matter the trial or trouble you have in this world. It matters who you go through these troubles with. This sabbath I will be preaching on trials, and why they feel so bad, and how to overcome. Invite your friends and family who are struggling with something. This Sabbath God will provide answers and blessings, I guarantee it.
Connected to the Vine,
Pastor Victor Reina