Thursday, January 13: John 16:33
If the world has gone so bad, does prayer really do any good?
“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
In a world where news is accessible on a large scale, we can let the weight of the world affect the way we view our day-to-day lives. We hear headlines and we become afraid, overwhelmed, and defeated in our day-to-day lives. This carries over into our faith as well. Too often, the events in the world prevent us from seeing God at work among us because we’re overwhelmed by the brokenness of the world instead. We miss the people right in front of us that God has called us to love, share with, and pray for. We end up questioning God for all the things He is not doing, and we miss what He is doing.
All of Scripture shows God’s restorative work in history. After the Garden of Eden, every moment has been touched by brokenness. The effects of our sin run deep and wide. One of the major tools God has given to us to join Him in His restoring work is prayer. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God invites His people to call on His name as a means of active involvement in His restorative work (Jeremiah 29:12, 1 Chronicles 16:8, Psalm 86:5, Colossians 4:2, Philippians 4:6). God knows the depravity of the world better than we do. We don’t have to be overwhelmed and discouraged by the brokenness around us; God has given us the activity of prayer to engage in His restoration.
Jesus’s words in today’s verse acknowledge the brokenness we see in our world, but they also reveal that brokenness is not the whole story. Jesus has overcome the world! That means these troubles are temporary, and it also means we can pray with confidence because the God we pray to has already won the victory. We don’t have to look at this world through a defeated lens. As followers of Jesus, we can live in freedom, confidence, and victory as overcomers praying to a God who hears and is still working all around us.
- Have you ever felt defeated after reading an article or watching the news? How does it make you feel that God is always working toward restoration, no matter how it seems?
- What would it look like to regularly call upon the Lord in prayer in these discouraging moments?
Pray and tell God about the brokenness in the world that you are struggling with, ask Him to do His restorative work once again.