He says to us in John 16:33b, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV). Jesus spoke those words to his disciples prior to his death on the cross on Good Friday. He was claiming victory even before his suffering. He was looking ahead to his resurrection.
And because of Jesus’s death and resurrection, we can claim victory over our suffering as well.
A homeless drug addict who broke into an Arkansas church and vandalized $100,000 worth of property was baptized at the same congregation six months later – all because the staff and church members displayed grace and got him much-needed help.
Imagine Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” only with a crab-pot thief and a young man with Down syndrome, instead of Tom and Huck. And instead of the mighty Mississippi, imagine the estuaries of North Carolina. And instead of skipping school to run away, imagine running away to attend school (well, wrestling school).