Sunday Morning | November 19, 2023 | John C. Majors | Louisville, KY
In this sermon based on John 16:16-33, Pastor John emphasizes the importance of finding peace and joy in the midst of life's chaos. Drawing inspiration from an interview with a bull rider, his sermon highlights the bull rider's ability to stay calm and focused in the dangerous activity, drawing parallels to the disciples facing the impending chaos Jesus warned them about. John identifies four ways to find peace and joy: BATL, which stands for Believe, Ask by faith, Trust His timing, and Look for Him to overcome the world. The narrative underscores the disciples' initial lack of understanding and Jesus' patient initiation, emphasizing the inevitability of sorrow turning into joy, akin to the pain of childbirth leading to unparalleled joy. The congregation is encouraged to believe that sorrow can produce joy, ask in faith, trust God's timing, and look to Him to overcome the challenges of the world, finding ultimate peace in Christ. The sermon concludes by reassuring the audience that God doesn't require perfect individuals to build and sustain the church, providing encouragement and a call to find courage in the fact that Christ has overcome the world.
At Valley View Church we are currently studying through the entire gospel of John, verse by verse. You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.
Well, good morning, Valley View. Great to be with you today. As we continue in our study of the book of John this week, we're going to wrap up chapter 16. And I told you last week we're picking up speed. Sometimes it's taken us many weeks to get through a chapter. Today we're going to wrap up Chapter 16, picking up speed. In fact, speaking of picking up speed, I listened to an interview with a professional bull rider this week. Don't worry, I'm not taking up a new hobby. Not yet. At least. What was really interesting about this guy, he's he's a Christian, outspoken in his faith, well known, well-respected in the bull riding community. I guess that's a community. And one of the things he talked about in this interview that utterly fascinated me was how absolutely laser focused and calm a bull rider can be in the midst of just utter absolute chaos. I mean, there can be no more dangerous, chaotic thing that a human being almost can choose to encounter. And yet in that moment, in fact, he he talked about this one particular rodeo, where he was doing well, scored real high, was set to win, basically just had one ride left to finish. And so he gets in the gate, gets settled on the bull, jumps out of the gate, and the game is on. He's riding the back of this bull. And he said, I was so locked in, I was so in the zone that I was just thinking about all the other kinds of things. Man, this has been a great rodeo. It's been a lot of fun. I've got to hang out with some of my good friends along the way. Gosh, I wonder where we're going to go tomorrow for lunch. You know what? I don't think I've heard them play this song before at this rodeo. Of course, at that moment, he got kicked off. He got a little too relaxed in the moment. How can that be, though, in one of the most chaotic moments of life that anyone could experience? Here he is in this state of calm, state of peace, even the state of joy. How can that be? Well, in today's passage, we're going to look at how Jesus talks about this with the disciples, how in the midst of the chaos of life and they're about to encounter absolute chaos, that there can also be peace and joy. How can that be? That's hard to believe at times, especially depending on what you're encountering in life. Well, let's look at what John Chapter 16 has to say. And if you don't have a Bible, we have a few Bibles out in the connection corner. Those are tied to the page numbers you'll see on the screen. We're going to be on page 849 in that church Bible John, Chapter 16. And I'm going to start by reading just the first couple of verses, verses 16 through 19, to help us get our bearings. And what I want you to see in the passage as we go-- in fact, I think there are going to be four main ways Jesus talks about finding peace and joy in the midst of chaos and to help make this memorable-- You know, I think it should be a God given right that everyone have a custom license plate on their car. Why do you have to pay extra for that and come up with that? That should be something we all enjoy to its fullest. I guess I could have by now, but I haven't. But I asked Isaac to create one for our church. A custom license plate for our church. In fact, he's going to throw it up on the screen now. Battle right? In the spirit-- by the way, in the spirit of custom license plates, we've left out some vowels, some letters. Those four letters are going to tie in with each of the four ways I think this passage talks about finding peace and joy in the midst of chaos. Which does require a bit of a battle. You do have to fight for that. It doesn't automatically happen. Life isn't naturally easy. In fact, if we expect life to be easy, that's a whole nother set of problems that are going to come. But what we need to do to find peace and joy in the midst of chaos is to battle for it. So we're going to look at each of those letters BATL and see how those show up in this passage. But first, let's get our bearings. Let's get the setting, verse 16, a little while and you will see me no longer and again, a little while and you will see me. So some of his disciples said to one another, What is this that he says to us A little while, you will not see me again, a little while you will see me, and because I'm going to the father. So they were saying, What does he mean by a little while? We do not know what he is talking about. Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him. So he said to them, Is this what you are asking yourselves? What I meant by saying a little while you will not see me. And again, a little while and you will see me. Is this what you're trying to ask me? So we've seen leading up to this passage that Jesus has been saying to the disciples, Some hard times are coming, some chaos is coming. I'm about to leave. It's going to get hard. And there I have no idea what he's talking about. Even last week, he said, look, I'm really about to go. I'm going to leave. I'm going to send you the Holy Spirit. You're going to be better off with him. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be good. But now when he says again in a little while, he seems to be kind of upping the sense of urgency with them. I've been saying it's going to come and it's just a little while longer now, just a little bit longer. Be ready. It won't be much longer. And their response to that is to pretend they know what he's talking about is to ask one another, Do you know what he's talking about? Because I don't want to ask him. I don't want to be the one that doesn't know that or that appears to not know. You ever been in that situation. That sums up college for me in a lot of ways. I remember this organic chemistry class. Everyone's favorite class. I actually like the subject, but going into the final, let's say I was underprepared, I think would be a proper way to say that. And so they thankfully, they had some kind of extra study session where the teacher's assistant was going to come and try to equip people in my situation. So I show up for that. I'm thinking, man, this will help me get ready for the test. The guy is explaining one of the key topics related to the test, and I have no idea what he's talking about. I'm totally lost. And in that moment in my mind, I'm thinking to myself, John, this would be a great time to ask a clarifying question. This would be a time for you to learn something here, to get better for the test. But what I don't want to ask, I feel like maybe I should already know that I don't want to be the guy in here who doesn't know the thing we should know. But my hand is kind of naturally wanting to shoot up here and ask him. And while I'm contemplating all this, I hear him say, okay, so that's how you do that problem. And by the way, if you don't know this by this point, you're in big trouble. And so that hand just kind of comes right back down. There's no way I'm putting that thing up at that moment. I'm not going to reveal my utter ignorance in that moment. And you see that with the disciples. No, no, no. We maybe should know this. We want to ask who's going to be brave enough to. Now, here's the beautiful thing of what happens here. Jesus sees this. He anticipates that, he knows this. I mean, however they're doing it this could be divine knowledge. It could just be you've picked up on that one. You can tell someone's confused and he initiates. I love this about Jesus in this moment. He doesn't shame them, you morons, you idiots. No, he says, Are you guys talking about this? Is this what you're wanting to ask me? He initiates with them. He doesn't shame them, doesn't guilt them for not knowing. And, you know, sidenote, I hope that if you're new to the faith, that that's what you feel here, that you can come with whatever questions you have. We try to make it easy for you to find your place in Scripture, to navigate your way through the Bible with page numbers. And we say all time, come as you are, so you don't have to stay as you are. Come, come as you are. If you didn't grow up in the church, there's all kinds of stuff that you're going to need to learn along the way. But our hope is that you never feel shame or guilt for not knowing something at this point in your journey. That's okay. It's just part of it. If you join anything new, you've got a lot to learn. I mean, it could be taekwondo or bookbinding, whatever it is, whatever hobby you take on, there's a lot to learn. We're not just talking about a hobby. We're talking about the essence of life and purpose and meaning. Jesus doesn't shame the guys who were closest to him for years. We're not going to do that here either. I hope. And I love that approach. Now, what he does, though, in this moment, he doesn't shame them. Are you guys talking about this? But he also doesn't avoid difficult conversations. So look at verse 20. Look how he does engage with them. Is this what you're asking yourselves? What I meant a little while. Truly, truly I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. So he points out to them, Look, I know you're trying to ask something. It's something you don't understand. But when he responds to them, he doesn't avoid difficult conversations. He doesn't avoid difficult topics. So he says to them, right off the gate, what's about to happen is going to create sorrow in your life. In fact, the words he uses there are often used in combination in describing ancient cultures where there was this practice of especially at a funeral. I'll show you how much this person meant to me by how loudly I wail. You know, we don't do that in our modern American culture. In fact, the opposite. The more stoic you are, the more calm you are. It shows how much they meant to you. I'm going to not express emotion, use self-control, stand strong for them. But it was the opposite then. Let me even hire people to cry behind me to show you how much this person meant to me. This extreme display of grief overwhelmed, completely disabled by grief. These are the kind of words that are being described here, this depth of sorrow that just takes you to a place where you almost can't function. Jesus says this, This is coming. This is out ahead of you. And what is kind of the stab in the back in the midst of this is that in the midst of your overwhelming sorrow, guess what's happening around you? The world rejoices. The world is so glad to be rid of this guy. The Pharisees have had this guy in their face telling them all they're doing wrong, highlighting their self-righteousness, and they are sick of him. They can't stand the sight of him. They're so glad to be rid of him. I've been reading the book and there was an interesting chapter in this book. It wasn't titled this way, but this is what it's about. It's all about the history of genocide. Okay, don't leave. Don't be too worried. Again, not research. It was fascinating, though, some of the observations about humanity. Why is it that one group of people chooses to hate another group of people to the point where they need to feel like they need to eliminate them from the face of the earth? One of the observations he made, it was so interesting. Oftentimes when this happens between two groups of people, usually often one group became just slightly better off than the other, just a little bit better. Maybe they lucked into some occupation as a group that allowed them to make just a little bit more money and get along just a little bit better. And one of the observations he made is how this reflects human nature. We're most likely to dislike a neighbor who just is doing a little better than us. I got that. How did you get a 2021 car? I'm driving a 2017. Who do you think you are? You're better than me. We all went to Disney. We went to Gatlenburg. How? Your no better-- we live in the same neighborhood. You live right next door. How dare you? Who do you think you are? How did you afford that big bookshelf? I just have this little one, but... It's a lot. We're much more likely to hate and despise someone who is just barely better than us that we know, than the super rich guy we've never met. Something about our human nature. And you see this come out, We'll be in the depths of sorrow. Jesus says, You disciples weep, lament and the world will be rejoicing. They will be so glad to be rid of him. They will be glad that he's no longer there, reminding them of their self righteousness, of the way they have tried to save themselves. Now, one of the things he says to follow that up, though, look back at verse 20. Is this what you're asking? Truly, I say to you, the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful-- last sentence, but your sorrow will turn into joy. So you will be wracked with grief. Those who hated Jesus will be gloating. They will be in ecstasy. But your sorrow will turn to joy. How? The question I ask at that point is how? How does that happen? That's not an easy thing to do. When I'm preparing a message for a Sunday morning. This is the point in my preparation where I go, I need some kind of good illustration to drive this home. How can I illustrate to people that you can be in the midst of grief, pain, suffering, difficulties, and in an instant it turn to joy? Keep reading. Here it is for us. Verse 21-- When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come. But when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now. But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice. I've seen childbirth. First of all, if it were up to men to continue the human race, it's probably not happening. One guy generation would be like, I'll try that and no one else would do it again. But humanity depends on you, John. Sorry, too bad. And here you have a woman who is in this place of utter exhaustion. Can't go on. Overwhelming, undeniable, unbelievable pain. And then she hears that baby cry, first breath, and you put that baby on her bare chest, skin to skin and all that grief and sorrow and pain in a moment turns to joy. Immeasurable, indescribable, overwhelming joy. And so all of this leads us to the first letter in our BATL license plate, the ways that we move from sorrow to joy in a moment. How can that happen?The first is just the letter B:
believe, believe that pain and sorrow can produce joy, believe that it is even possible. That's the starting place and as I say that I reason I say that very hesitantly because I know that's not easy. I don't pretend to understand whatever sorrow you are encountering. I mean, in a room this size, there's lots of challenges that people are facing. And of course there are a wide variety of sorrows. Some we bring upon ourselves. Be like, Yeah, that's on me. I caused that. I can't blame anyone else. It's hard. It's painful, it's awful. I did that. Some sorrows, some challenges come just as natural part of life. Someone passes away, sickness comes upon you. These are things maybe I don't control, but also they just happen. Some sorrows are brought into your life by someone may even just be outright evil and have foisted upon you. I don't know what you've encountered. I don't know what you're going through. If I could go through the room, though, I guess my bet is that there is someone here who can relate to what you've been through and that they can say there is joy on the other side. It's unimaginable. It's so hard to believe. But if we take a step back and like the expectant mother, we come to it believing that there is joy on the other side. That is the first step to even experiencing joy and peace in the midst of sorrow. So that’s letter B. Let's keep going. On to Letter A in our BATL license plate. Look at this next group of verses versus 23 and 24. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly I say to you, whatever you ask of the father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full. Letter A in the acronym of BATL is Ask by Faith. So first believe that it can possibly be true. Letter A, ask by faith. He's telling them here. Ask. You haven't asked yet. You've asked nothing of me. In my name ask. And he points out the difference here, by the way, because we've talked about what it means to ask in his name. It doesn't just mean you tack his name on to any prayer and he gives it to you. No, ask according to his will, versus what they have been doing up to this point is to ask according to their will. And you know what I'm talking about. You've done it. Before you knew Christ, when you prayed to him, it was a, let's say, a bit of a bargaining chip. Lord, if you do this for me, Lord, if you just show up this one time, I promise I'll never, ever do that again. Or the opposite. Lord, I'll, if I do this for you, will you, you need to be there for me no matter what. That's not in his name. That's in your name right at that moment. That's for your glory. Do this for me, Lord. But when things change, when we pray in His name. God, I want to see you honored. I want to see you glorified. I care about your name being proclaimed to the world and you having your way. Even in my life. Even if it's hard, even if it's not what I would naturally choose. Would you work according to your name? And he's saying to them, Look, you need to ask. There will come a day where you've been confused, you've not understood. I've tried to explain, you've not heard it. There will come a day where he says, You will ask nothing of me. You won't need to ask because it'll be made clear. You'll know. All the confusion will be cleared up. In fact, there will be joy that is made full. I know this isn't a perfect illustration of this issue of asking, asking by faith, asking God, according to his name, to show up in the midst of sorrow and pain. But I think it's related and it's a powerful picture of the power of prayer, of the power of asking specifically for God to move. We were in Little Rock a couple of weeks ago, visiting with friends, various other things. Julie met with some friends who-- they were well connected, an older couple. This one lady in particular had been a mentor to her, and this mentor told Julie the story. She said, You know, my husband and I, one night we were hanging out. It was just one of those nights where the day had gotten away from us. Nobody had done anything to prepare for dinner. And we said, You know what, let’s go out. Let's go out to eat. And so the husband said, Look, I want to go to Cheers. That's the name of the restaurant there. I want to go to Cheers.Let's go at 5:
30. Okay, great. They settled on that. But she says in that moment she goes, You know what, I haven't heard from my friend Pat in a while. I know there's very little chance she'd come. You know, it's already4:45, 5:
00, spur of the moment thing, but I'm going to invite her anyway. Pat had just lost her husband, you know, she's around 70 years old. They were high school sweethearts, Pat’s struggling. We've had a hard time getting connected. Let's just see if we can get her to come. So they called. She texts Pat. Pat, we're going to dinnerat Cheers at 5:
30. Would you like to join us? Not expecting to even hear back from Pat. Almost immediately, all caps, Yes, I'll be there. Okay, great. See you there.So they get to Cheers, 5:
30, here comes Pat. And they're just curious. Pat, very enthusiastic response. We're glad to have you join us. But tell us why the enthusiasm? And Pat said, I was at home, very lonely, full of sorrow and grief, missing my husband tremendously. And she said, I'm sitting there on the couch with my two dogs and just feeling like, Lord, would you have someone reach out to me? In fact, she said, I began to pray, Lord, would you have someone ask me to dinnerat Cheers at 5:
30? That was her husband's favorite place to go. That couple was their favorite couple to hang out with. God, would you just show up in this moment? Sometimes we’re hesitant to pray specifics of--- what if God didn't do that? Does that mean he's not God? No. But when he does, there's no doubt. Ask by faith, believe that he can bring whatever tragedy occurs, on the other side that he can bring joy, that he can bring peace. In fact, he says your joy will be full in the midst of the challenges. Now, that's asking that's letter A, ask by faith. And now to letter T in the BATL acronym, How do we experience peace and joy on the heels of sorrow in the midst of chaos?Look at verses 25 through 28:
I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the father. In that day, you will ask in my name. And I do not say to you that I will ask the father on your behalf, for the father himself loves you because you loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. And now I am leaving the world and going to the father. He says on the front end I have said these things to you in figures of speech. I've been speaking to you in a way that maybe isn't super obvious. And part of you hears that and goes why? It feels a little deceptive. Jesus, it's hard enough to follow you. Why are you making things harder by being vague or teaching in parables, or teaching in a way that doesn't make obvious sense right away? Why would you do that? One of the things we need to be aware of is the letter T Trust His timing. Trust his timing. In the midst of moving from chaos to peace and joy, trust His timing. And there's a reason why you would speak in figures of speech. There's a reason why you would hold back information. There's a gigantic difference between keeping information from someone to be deceptive and manipulative versus holding it back until they're ready for it. There's a huge difference between the two and Jesus is doing this one. You know what I'm talking about. You've experienced this. Just think about the ways you've told a child about how humans come into the world. There's a way to do that unfolding information, to meet them where they are age appropriately. And it would actually be cruel to just dump everything on them all at once. You've experienced this in your own life. I mean, I think about the fact that I'm pastor here. I never thought I would be a pastor. I mean, in fact, Julie would often say, God didn't call you to be a pastor because you didn't marry a pastor's wife. And they don't usually hire divorced people, right? I think she was saying that tongue in cheek. The point being, I never thought I'd be a pastor. Not that I hated the idea, but I just felt like God had called us into kind of more para-church missions, ministry, creating content, serving marriages and families. Loved what we were doing there, never even considered it. And then one day out of the blue, I'm sitting in church. This is two and a half years ago now, sitting in church in Little Rock. And I'm thinking about all the things we've seen God do in ministry, thinking about all the ways this church we are at teaches kids to know God's Word, the emphasis on God's word. And then I think about Valley View and how much it meant to me growing up, how much people had invested in me. It's just this overwhelming sense of gratitude. And in that moment, the phrase that came to mind was, Go there and do that. And it went from, I'll never be a pastor to Yes, Lord, yes, I see you're in this. Yes, I'll move forward. Never thought that would be the case. Yes. Now, if he had told me ten years before that you're going to be pastor someday. Can you imagine obsessing over that, trying to figure that out? Maybe even pushing back against it, trying to hide that from my wife all along the way? No. But he revealed it in His timing. Trust His timing. He knows what you need to hear and when you need to hear it. And so he is speaking to the disciples here in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I won't have to do that anymore. It'll be clear to you it won't have to be unfolded anymore. But for now, I speak in figures of speech. Trust His timing, Trust that he knows what is best. Trust that even in difficult conversations, he's in control. I was reminded of a dad who was asked by one of his children, Dad, where babies come from? And of course, caught off guard, wondering how he's going to respond, stalling for time, he says, What do you mean? File that question away? By the way, what do you mean? Come on, Dad. You know what I'm talking about. You know what I mean? Do they come from the hospital or the stork? Which is it? Yeah, you're right. I knew what you meant. I knew exactly what you were talking about. Its the hospital. Timing. Trust His timing. Trust He knows what's best to give you what you need when you need it. Even if it's not all clear to us in the moment. Believe, ask, trust. And now letter L. Let's look at the next group of verses. Verse 29, His disciples said, Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech. Now we know that you know all things, do not need anyone to question you. This is why we believe that you came from God. Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? Behold the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered each to his own home and will leave me alone. But I'm not alone, for the father is with me. I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but take heart. I have overcome the world. Amen. So here's what we see here. His disciples in the moment are saying, oh, okay. Now you're speaking clearly, even though he's just repeating the same thing he has said for a number of chapters. Oh, we get it now. This is why we believe. And Jesus in this moment, He says, Do you really believe? It comes across-- It might come across a little bit like a scolding. Come on now, Do you really? And maybe that's what he's doing. But I also think he's acknowledging reality, that there is an immature, maybe underdeveloped belief here. That happens. It doesn't mean it's unbelief, but maybe immature, underdeveloped belief. Think about-- in fact, I heard, you've seen the movie Top Gun. You've seen that there is this school where fighter pilots are tested to be able to fight one another in the air. And I listened to an interview with one of the guys who runs that school, actual Top Gun commander. And he said, it's so shocking. He said, you every time, of course, to get to Top Gun, you've already got to be the best of the best. And who's cockier in this world than a fighter pilot, but you make them the best of the best fighter pilots. And so everyone coming here thinks they're going to come in and show the instructors how it's done and zero of them have a zero, have any chance at all. They have no idea what they don't know. They don't realize that they're only just beginning to learn the things that we're going to teach them. They are so outmatched. It's like they're not even, might as well not even be flying. The comparison between the two. And yet their belief in themselves is real. It's just immature, under informed, underdeveloped. And you've been there. You know what I'm talking about Believing something with extreme passion. And yet you realize later, yeah, I had a little more to learn about that, had a little more insight to gain. Jesus says, Do you really believe? You think you understand fully, but yet you don't yet. You don't know yet. And what I love about this... I love that Jesus didn't have to have perfect people to run the church. The disciples weren’t perfect at all. He didn't need perfect people. He didn't have to put together the winning team. In fact, Paul says in First Corinthians, he says to followers of Christ, Consider your calling brothers. Not many of you were wise. Thanks Paul. What? According to worldly standards, in the eyes of the world. Not many of you were all that sharp. Not many of you were powerful, not many of you were of noble birth. This isn't the team that Caesar assembles to take over the world. No, no, Jesus didn't need perfection. But he goes on to say, God chose what is foolish in this world to shame the wise. God shows what is weak in this world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in this world, even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are so that no one standing in his presence would have any grounds to boast. Do you see the beauty of that? He didn't choose the perfect. We know who we are. We're not perfect. And when we stand before him, we know it's because of him, not because of something great I did. He didn't need the disciples to be perfect. He doesn't need us to be perfect. And let me plead with you to plead with you. Don't let the devil overwhelm you in shame and guilt if you've maybe made poor choices, you've walked away from him. If you've stepped away from the faith for a season, he wants to bury you in the shame of that. Who are you to think you can go back there and show your face again? Who are you to think that you can ever call Christ Lord again because of what you've done? No. Not many of you were wise or strong or of noble birth, but you're called and you can stand before him in humility. And all this leads to letter L and what he's talking about in this last group of verses which we see in verse 33, I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have troubles-- guaranteed. But take heart. I have overcome the world. And so letter L says, Look to Him to overcome the world. Look to him, expect him, anticipate that he will overcome the world. Take heart. That word is also translated as Be courageous. Be ready to stand firm against difficulties. Take heart, I have overcome the world. Look to him. Expect, anticipate, trust. All this to bring this all together in the BATL for joy and peace, in the midst of sorrow, in the midst of chaos. Here's the last thing I want to say. This world does not offer peace. Turn on any channel of any thing and all you hear is chaos. Madness. Where are you going to find peace and hope and joy and love and stability and life? Where are you going to find it? There's a lot of places we look. The only place I've found it is in Christ is in the hope in him, in his life, on my behalf, in place of me, in his blood, pouring over my sins, over my wrongs. And I don't have to walk in the shame and guilt of that any more. I can find real life and joy and peace, even in the midst of tribulation and chaos and challenge. And my encouragement to you is to come to him, to lean on him, believe in him in the midst of whatever he has brought your way. Let's pray. God, we thank you for this morning. Jesus, thank you for giving us hope. Where would we be without it? What would I do when hard times hit? Where would I go? I can't go inward. I've let myself down time and again and all the things the world offers. They give temporary relief. They do. But we want lasting, pure, abundant, full joy and peace. Thank you, Lord, that you provide that. Jesus, help us to walk in that today. I pray today, Lord, that today, specifically as each person leaves so many hands came up today saying I need a miracle. Lord, whether that miracle comes today or not, I pray that there is an abiding sense of peace like never before. Thank you for working in our lives. Jesus, we love you. Amen.