In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
What do you tend to avoid?
Every one has certain activities or situations or places that they try their best to stay away from.
Some of those choices are wise:
(i.e. Stay away from angry German Shepherds, shopping on Black Friday, or the Department of Motor Vehicles.)
Some are more personal, bordering on the ridiculous
(I have made various vows to avoid Hot Pockets, Pop Tarts, and Lime-away at all costs.)
But for the most part, human beings try their best to limit the amount of inconvenience, difficulty or suffering that they face. And that makes sense to a point. After all, who really wants more hardship or trouble? But in our efforts to sanely limit the amount of difficult things, our culture as a whole has tried to hide or compartmentalize normal parts of the human experience.
We confine sickness to hospitals, ageing to nursing homes, and death to funeral homes. Communication gets reduced to voicemail, Facebook and text messaging, not just because they are easier, but also because a face to face communication is harder.
The sad thing is that for many believers in Jesus Christ, we have somehow come up with the twisted idea that Jesus' job is to make everything easy for us, to free us from every instance of suffering or frustration or discouragement. We may not say that out loud, but all we need to do is to consider what we pray for and what we are disappointed over when we don't get our way.
In the last few chapters (including today's passage), Jesus has finished telling His followers all that He has in store for them. There are some amazing statements about who Jesus is (i.e. John 14:6, 15: 5) as well as some amazing promises about what He will provide (i.e. John 14:14, 15:15, 16:16). We spend a lot of time with these passages and we ought to.
So DO NOT live a life of hardship avoidance- it never works and it is contrary to everything about Christ. Here is the Gospel message once again: