Many days, there is a whole lot of worrying going on. There are many difficulties. Jesus told us there would be.
Fear can cripple. How many times does God come to us and say, “Fear not”? That is one of His great themes.
Jesus knows that this world is going to present challenges to us. We will experience difficulties.
God’s goal for us is the we trust in Him. He is in control. He didn’t bring us this far to leave us now.
Here is the good news. Jesus has overcome everything. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. All is well. It is finished.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” | Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (John 16:33). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
John 16:33 is the summary and climax of the Upper Room message. Why did He give this message? So that the disciples might have peace in a world of tribulation. Note the contrast between “in Me” and “in the world.” In Jesus there is peace; in the world there is tribulation. This is the position we need to claim: we are in the Messiah, and therefore we can overcome the world and all of its hatred.
George Morrison defined peace as “the possession of adequate resources.” In Jesus the Messiah, we have all the resources that we need. But peace depends also on appropriate relationships, because spiritual resources depend on spiritual relationships. “In Me” is the key. In ourselves, we have nothing; but “in the Messiah” we have all that we need.
Every believer is either overcome or an overcomer. “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). The world wants to overcome us; this is why Satan uses the world to persecute and pressure believers. The world wants us to conform; it does not want us to be different. When we yield ourselves to Jesus and trust Him, He enables us to be overcomers. We must claim our spiritual position in Christ and believe Him for victory.
Sometimes translated “Be of good cheer!” is one of our Master’s repeated statements of encouragement. Literally, in the Greek, θαρρέω or θαρσέω is to have confidence and firmness of purpose in the face of danger or testing—‘to be courageous, to have courage, to be bold.’ Source: Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament. (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 305). New York: United Bible Societies.
We can see how these three explanations our Master gave all fit together. He revealed a wonderful principle—God transforms sorrow into joy. But this principle will not work in our lives unless we believe His promise and pray. God has ordained that His work is accomplished through believing prayer. But we will not be able to pray effectively if we do not claim our position as conquerors in Jesus Christ.
But John 16:33 is also a preface to His great High Priestly Prayer. He had taught them the Word; now He would pray for them. The Word and prayer must always go together. He used the word world nineteen times in this prayer, for in it He shows us how to overcome the world. He Himself was facing the hatred of the world and the devil, yet He would be able to endure the suffering and win the victory.
There is joy when we permit God to transform sorrow into joy. There is joy when God answers prayer. There is joy when we overcome the world.
Let there be joy!