Many years after the life of Job, there was another man in the narrative of Scripture named Jesus, who shared many of the same qualities. Like Job, Jesus was good and blameless before God. Like Job, raiders came and brought pain to His life. But what makes Jesus’ life different from Job’s is how it ended — in total victory, and that victory is signiﬁcant for us.
In fact, Tolkien, our good catastrophe friend, saw in Jesus the clearest example of his concept that the greatest good can come out of the greatest crises. Tolkien writes, “The birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of man’s history.” Jesus was like Job, but even better than Job because He offers a life of hope to all. One of the most compelling Scriptures about Jesus reads, “And his name will be the hope of all the world” (Matthew 12:21). Indeed, it is the name of Jesus that has brought and still brings hope to generations of people around the world.
What did Jesus say about life?
Just before His time on earth ended, Jesus spoke to His closest friends about eternity. He left them with these words: “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).
In this world, you will have trouble. It’s a statement that feels brooding. Clouds are forming on the horizon of your life. You can’t outrun or escape it. This thing called trouble will interrupt your life. We are not given any indication about how to know when trouble is coming, nor how it will turn up. We are just promised that it will visit our lives.
Jesus was candid: He knew that life has unavoidable troubles and that we all come to a point where life hurts. But He made the claim that you can still have peace amid the challenges. This kind of peace is an inner calm and an overall wellness, regardless of circumstances. We often see peace as an end to all the world’s problems. Yet, Jesus deﬁned peace as something that starts in our hearts. It is only from internal peace that outward peace becomes a reality.
Jesus’s ultimate claim about the solution to our troubles is captured in His use of the word overcome. Linguistic experts tell us that the original Greek word for overcome in John 16:33 is from the root word nike. This word denotes a sense of victory — winning in the face of obstacles. It existed long before a sporting goods company chose it as a name. Jesus teaches that we can have hope in the eternal life that only He offers.
Hope is more than a feeling, a virtue, or an outlook. Hope is a person, and hope has a name: Jesus.
Benjamin Windle offers more hope this Monday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpt from Good Catastrophe by Benjamin Windle. Copyright ©2023 by Benjamin Windle. Provided by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.