“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The Holy Scriptures are chock-full of nuggets of eternal encouragement. When it comes to living my life over the years, John 16:33 may be the one that has shined most brightly into my heart.
The Prediction – Trouble
The truth of trouble in this world is beyond question. Trouble bids us good morning as well as good night. And why should it not? We are merely pilgrims passing through this world on our way to the Promised Land; and along the way, trouble tests our trust.
The Prescription – Take Heart
Without this prescription from our Great Physician, we are likely to become downcast and discouraged. It is a matter of focus. When Peter stepped out of the boat onto the turbulent sea, he was actually walking on water . . . as long as he kept his focus on Jesus. But as soon as he shifted his focus away from Christ and onto his circumstances, he began to sink. But as Peter began to sink into the depths of the sea, he remembered the prescription and, taking heart, he cried out to Jesus, who immediately delivered him from certain death.
The Proclamation – I Have Overcome
The Almighty argues for His prescription through His proclamation: “I have overcome the world”—this world in which you and I will be tested by trouble at every turn. Because our Lord overcame, we too, by His grace and care, will overcome all that comes against us. Whatever storm winds reach our shore, we can be assured that they have already washed over our Savior. And yet Jesus has overcome all troubles—even the ultimate enemy, death—which is why He could say, “Because I live, you also shall live” (John 14:19). If the grave could not hold our Lord, why would we give in to gnawing disillusionment? We must remember the troubles that test us have no teeth, for in Christ even death has lost its sting and the grave has lost its victory.
So regardless of what storm winds you are facing today, take heart, for your Lord has paved the way for you to walk. Follow in His footsteps and you will rise above the waves of challenge, for He has already overcome every wave that threatens to overcome you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!