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Take Heart!

Note: This is the thirteenth and final article in a series called Overcoming the Five Failures of Us. Previous articles are always available at

“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

Jesus promised that we would have trouble in this world. He let us know it would seem terribly unfair — that the wheat would grow with the weeds and that God’s blessings of sun and rain would fall on the just and unjust. He warned us the world would hate and persecute us. Those are some tough promises. See John 15 and 16, Matthew 5 and 10, and Matthew 13:24-30.

Listen, following Jesus doesn’t allow us to avoid trouble; it empowers us to overcome trouble. That’s been the point of this entire series of articles.

In heaven, we will be known by two nicknames: the Redeemed and the Overcomers. The only way to earn the nickname Overcomer is to face trials, troubles, hardships, and persecution — and then overcome. Jesus wouldn’t call us to overcome unless we could do it by His grace. So, take heart, you can do it.

The Greek word translated as “take heart” is tharseo. It means to exude confidence and courage. There’s no need for us to walk around in defeat or fear. Yes, this place is tough, but Jesus has already overcome the worst it had it dish out. Because He has overcome, He assures us we can overcome. That’s why He tells us to take heart!

Taking heart doesn’t mean you must look for some huge obstacle or take on some heroic and world-changing task. In fact, Jesus encouraged us to do the little things well – you know – the responsibilities we encounter every day. See Luke 16:10-13, Luke 19:11-27, and Matthew 25:14-30. His point: Do the little things well, and God will take care of everything else – so again, take heart – you can do this!

By the way, your heart is a great example of what it means to be faithful in the little things. If you live 90 years, your heart will pump 44,300,000 gallons of blood. That’s enough to fill 67 Olympic-sized swimming pools! To accomplish this gargantuan task, the heart pumps just two ounces of blood per second. Because the heart does this little thing so well and so consistently for such a long period of time, the end result is big beyond comprehension!

So, take heart! God isn’t asking you to overcome world hunger or to overcome world wars. God is asking you to do with excellence the little things He has placed in front of you today—to the best of your ability and to His honor and glory. See Colossians 3.

You can feed your family — and help feed the poor in your community. You can bring peace to your workplace, your home, and your neighborhood. You can love your enemy and pray for them and serve them. You can make a small difference in every place and in every moment of every day.

Doing these little things well, again and again, over the course of a lifetime, results in accomplishments beyond our wildest imaginations. Heaven alone will reveal the accumulated magnitude of a life of faithfulness in the little things. It is an amazing treasure stored in heaven. See Matthew 6:19-21.

Friends, we humans are prone to failure, but we don’t have to fail. God has redeemed us, and the work He has accomplished in our hearts gives us the strength and confidence to overcome. So take heart! You are the redeemed and the overcomer. Live with confidence and courage! You are making a difference!