“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! FOR I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33 (AMPC)
The above words were spoken by Jesus. He shared these words of encouragement with the disciples and now, they are in the Bible as an encouragement to us all.
Sometimes, we face challenges upon challenges. The minute we overcome one challenge; it feels like another comes to stare us in the face. It can even feel as if the challenges are laughing at us!
On the journey of transformation, it is important to remember that this transformation is a process, it does not necessarily happen in a day. It may mean you deal with one issue today and another issue crops up tomorrow.
However, even within this, Christ gives us the assurance that in Him we have perfect peace and confidence. Peace that He is in control despite our circumstances and confidence in the fact that He will be with us through it all and grant us the grace to get through. If we look for peace elsewhere, it is guaranteed not to be the same as the peace found in Christ. In John 14:27, Jesus clearly states that the peace He gives is “not as the world gives”. This means that the peace we get from the world can never be the same as that which Christ gives – we must press in and pursue His perfect peace.
This verse states that we will have “tribulation and trials and distress and frustration” in this world. Becoming a Christian does not guarantee a trouble-free life, in fact, Jesus clearly stated that we will have tribulation! He did not specify the type of tribulation, trial, distress, or frustration so, I believe, it could be all sorts of issues.
When I gave my life to Christ, I did not have this understanding. I genuinely thought that, in coming to Christ, all my problems would fade away. Whilst this may have been naïve thinking, many Christians do believe this and get frustrated when they face problems. However, Christ has told us that there will be problems, trials, and frustration if we are alive and in this world.
The promise from Jesus Christ that we must hold on to is that He has overcome the world. Jesus instructed the disciples, and us alike, to “be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]!”. To be of good cheer is to be happy, joyful and in good spirits; despite the challenges that come our way, we should not be filled with sorrow but rather remain in a state of joy. This translation (AMPC) expands this further and instructions us to take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted. Often, when faced with challenges, it is easy to feel discouraged and feel unsteady, but Christ is with us and it is in Him we have peace and, therefore, we have no reason to be afraid.
Christ has overcome the world meaning that He has deprived it of power to harm you and He has conquered it for you. This is the confidence that you should have every moment of your life. Transformation is a journey, our walk with God is a journey – Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”. The work God is doing in you and through you is ongoing and the trials that come up along the way should not drag you down, instead, be confident knowing that Christ has overcome any challenge that you may face.
It is so important that we keep focussed and we submit to the process that God is taking us on. If a challenge arises and you give up at the first sign, you will miss all that God has for you. If you fall, I encourage you to rise again, I encourage you to be of good cheer as Jesus told us to be.
Sometimes I struggle with the challenges I face in this life, but I know that you are with me always. Christ promised me peace so please help me to live with that peace today and always. As I am in the world, if tribulation, trials, and distress arise; let me always be reminded of the fact that you have OVERCOME the world. You have already overcome any challenge I may face; you are greater, stronger, and more powerful. Fill me with the strength and grace that I need to overcome and walk through.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!