This morning I finished reading the red letters of the Gospels. I made this commitment to myself to read Jesus' words to start 2015 and it's been a very good journey. I've been struck by how smart, funny (sometimes sarcastically funny which makes my heart soooo happy), and authoritative Jesus actually is. I love Jesus that much more and probably respect Him so much more as He really comes off as the smartest guy in the universe. Having said all that, I think the thing that really encourages me in troubled times is Jesus' words in John 16:33 “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.” I love that Jesus is a straight shooter and doesn't shine me on with some churchy sounding line like, "I put springs in your wagon" or "I'll give you your best life now!" Jesus admits the reality of our broken world by simply saying "you will have trouble." As I sat at 2am this weekend with a grieving husband reeling from the tragic death of his wife, and as people I know are connected to the tragic and senseless loss of a 32-year-old young woman randomly shot and killed while strolling with her dad on Pier 14 in San Francisco, and all the cultural shifts taking place in this world it is clear there is trouble in this world. BUT I am very encouraged by Jesus' authoritative word that I can take heart because He has overcome the world, and will continue to overcome this broken world! Thank God!!