On the night of the last supper, just before Jesus’s arrest, his mock trial, his beatings and eventual crucifixion, He shared with his disciples an encouragement found in John 16:33.
He said to them, “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
Basically, Jesus was letting them know that life comes with some tribulation, but they don’t need to walk through them alone. He would be with them, and that in him they could enjoy peace because they know the One called peace. He was also letting them know that despite what they would face, and despite the outcome, they would overcome and be victorious. Again, this would be because of Him and not of themselves.
It’s the exact same for us today. Life isn’t always easy. Things happen that can rock our worlds and leave us reeling. But we have those same words echoing through the ages to us right now in whatever we are facing. Jesus says to you and me, “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
That’s how much Jesus loved his disciples and us! He loved them so much that even before the situation arose that would threaten everything they knew; he warned them and gave them peace and hope to walk through it all. He gives us that same peace and hope.
No matter what we are going through right now, Jesus releases hope and peace to us if we want it. He lets us know that He is right there during it all and won’t leave us. He doesn’t necessarily say, “I will get you out of this”, but he does say “I will walk you through it and release my hope and peace to you.” It’s up to us to find that hope and peace and hold onto it during our trial, trouble or tribulation.
And then Jesus continues to say, "be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” That word overcome means “to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat.” For me that all spells VICTORY! Because we know Jesus, no matter what happens, we have the victory. We have the victory over sickness, disease, sin and even death.
As human beings, we want to work it all out and somehow understand it all. We ask the why, how, what, when and if questions all the time. But in everything we face, God is calling us to trust Him. Do you remember that wonderful portion of scripture in Proverbs 3: 5-6?
It says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Another version says, “and he will make your paths straight.”
God is calling you and I to trust Him even in our trials, troubles, tests and tribulations. For he is God. He alone knows that the plans He has for us are good; and as painful as they are, they are indeed working for our good even when they do not look good nor feel good. So, keep trusting him and he will direct you right where he wants you.
As believers, we can go boldly to that throne of grace and mercy and find the help we need. The truth is that our lives on earth and our suffering on earth are both temporary. That’s what Paul is reminding us of in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “For while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
The world offers temporary peace that doesn’t last. True peace can only be found in the person called Jesus. No matter what you are facing, Jesus offers you "PEACE" in your storm. Will you take Him at His Word? Will you take hold of His hope and peace, press into him and watch his wonderful purposes unfold for you?