“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
We live in a highlight-centered society. Not just in athletics, but even in business, education and the church at times. “Give me the highlights” is a common expression in a business meeting. This mentality has essentially replaced the newspaper from long ago. Watching the highlights from last night’s games is how sports fans keep up with their teams.
In reality, however, life is not like that highlight-focused world. We will have trouble in the world. We don’t have to look for it, we just need to be prepared for it. Life in a fallen world is much like a hospital: In one wing of the hospital, someone may pass away in an emergency room or a geriatric ward, while in the other wing there is great joy in the maternity ward as a new baby is delivered.
History buffs know that Abraham Lincoln lost five elections before he was finally elected president. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, even though he hit 714 home runs. Michael Jordan was entrusted to take the game-winning shot on many occasions, but he missed 26 times. We tend to focus on the highlights.
There is certainly nothing wrong with highlights. We should celebrate them. But the Bible says that Jesus “was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3, ESV). He lived a realistic life with realistic expectations. The greatest moment in history — His death on the cross and His resurrection — was a blend of sadness and unprecedented joy.
Prayer: Lord, help us not to be discouraged by the lowlights in life, but use them to conform us into the image of Your Son as we walk through them with You. Teach us how to celebrate the joy that comes with the blessings You give us in life, and may they make us more like Christ, too.
— Frick Frierson
If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to