If there’s one thing we all have in common, it is the fact that we are all imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. In this imperfect world, our lives all have moments of wonderful joy and happiness as well as terrible moments of disappointment and pain.
As believers, our great hope is that while we live in this world, we don’t have to live like this world, the Apostle John declares in his gospel that the truth for all believers is that are not of this world as much as Jesus was not of it. What a powerful declaration. We are in this world, but we don’t have to live like it!
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Jesus states the human condition very simply, “you will have trouble”, I think we can all attest to the trouble that life can bring us right? But look at his next statement, “But, take heart”. Did you ever realize that heart is something you could take, and conversely, lose?
Think about heart as the real you, it’s your spirit and soul. Your heart is what defines you and makes you, you. What a powerful revelation Jesus gives us, you can lose your heart, but you can also take heart!
You know, “take heart” is a declaration Jesus made several times during his ministry. As a matter of fact, if you study the New International Version of the Bible, Jesus makes this declaration at some very critical points of not only his ministry, but at some critical points of some people that really needed him. In Matthew chapter 9, he says “take heart” twice;
• vs. 2: when men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, the savior looks at this demonstration of faith and declares “take heart”.
• vs. 22: when a woman who had lived with an issue of blood for 12 years finally presses through her obstacles and touches Jesus, he looks at her and declares “take heart”
These individuals confronted their circumstances and believed beyond them because they knew that Jesus could overcome their imperfect world. They had real impediments, real reasons to be discouraged, but in all their challenges they had real expectations of what Jesus could do!
“Take heart!” I believe that Jesus is highlighting this enthusiastic expectation as the moment their miracle truly happened. It was in taking heart, in taking back their real identity, not the definitions of their problems, but the identity received by the declaration of God’s promises, that allowed them to touch Jesus in a way that many did not!
Can I tell you today that you can truly live out of this world? You can live beyond the imperfections when you “take heart!” Get the real you back and recognize that Jesus has already overcome this world we live in! Live today with enthusiastic expectation that Jesus will do all he promised in your life! When we take heart, we are choosing live with a hopeful expectation of all the good that Jesus brings to us! Live your life today out of this world! We live in this world, but we don’t live like it, Take Heart!