Beyond – Ben Mays

“We need to talk.”

Amazing how those four little words can strike fear into you, right? It might come from a partner, a family member, an employer, an employee… Either way, you know the conversation will be a little heavier than a café review or a commentary on the weather.

The night Jesus was arrested, he sat down with his disciples and lifted the lid on the bigger plan afoot. Talk about a “we need to talk” moment. After three years, he suddenly unfolds the details of a cosmic plan that will not only involve his death but them to a greater extent than they realised.

With their heads spinning, Jesus offers this comfort: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

You may be a braver person than I am. I think my honest reaction would be close to “Uh, if you have overcome the world, then why do I have to face trouble? Is there an easier way out? A shortcut”

Let’s be real: overcoming just sounds like WORK. It’s all thrilling and exciting in the movies when the action hero has to do the impossible to save the day. They always know what to do and Jason Bourne their way through a perfectly choreographed escape route to do what no other mere mortal could do. The win is guaranteed. There’s no hesitation, mind blanks or self-doubts: the things that plague me in trying to accomplish a lot less in times of trouble.

In Philippians 4:7 (NIV), we are given a promise that makes me feel both uneasy and excited. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. It makes me feel a little nauseous because it tells me I won’t understand every situation I face. I will have to overcome situations even when I cannot comprehend why they are happening. The exciting part is knowing that there is a peace that is not contingent upon my mental cognition. In simple terms, I don’t have to get it to win.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV): Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. My hope is not in what I know now but in the One who knows me, knows my situation and calls me on. Because he is beyond my understanding, I can go beyond what is easy and comfortable. I overcome because he has already overcome.

Ben Mays
Life Leadership College Principal

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