The bag looked like an appendage attached to his back. It contained all of his earthly possessions. Its weight caused him to bend over and shuffle when he walked. He grimaced with every step. Sadly, this poor soul's plight depicts the way many people feel today -- dejected, discouraged and in despair.
Jesus said in John 16:33 (NIV), "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."
Jesus had just finished telling His disciples some things that, at that time, they could not fully understand. But, He didn't leave them clueless. He made a statement of fact: "In this world you will have trouble." He doesn't say our troubles will go away. He doesn't say we will no longer be plagued by fear or doubt. Instead, our solution to a troubled heart, is to find peace in Him. But, He takes that a step further by saying something strange. He tells us to, "take heart," or, "cheer up."
So, when we are lonely or depressed, have doubts about our faith or feel the weight of the world pressing us down, we are to "cheer up"? This makes no sense until we read our Lord's last statement: "I have overcome the world."
We win our battles when we surrender to Jesus who has already fought them for us. We free ourselves from a bag full of burdens when we lay it at the cross and leave it there. We find peace, in the midst of life's storms, when we rest in the One who walked upon the water and said, "Peace! Be still."
He, who was rejected and despised of men, is now our Overcomer. That is definitely something we can all cheer about.
2014 by Bob Valleau. Bob has over 30 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of, "Mystic Dreams and Dusty Roads" and "Black Mesa Magic."