In John 16:33 (New International Version), Jesus addresses two conflicting themes when he said, “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.”
PERHAPS the reason we feel somewhat overwhelmed when trouble comes is because deep down in our hearts we believe that a “life of peace” means we should not have any trouble. We KNOW IN OUR MINDS that this is a lie but MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, we are struggling with this idea.
Let’s explore some of the many Scriptures about the peace God offers as we live in this world full of trouble.
- He is the God of peace (I Corinthians 14:33).
- He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
- Peace guards our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).
- Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- We are to pursue peace (1 Peter 3:11).
- When our minds are steadfast, trusting in Him, He gives us peace (Isaiah 26:3).
- He tells us to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28).
- He will be with Christians always (Matthew 28:18-20).
- We are to live in peace with one another and He will be with us (2 Corinthians 13:11).
APPLICATION QUESTION: What do we learn from these Scriptures about the peace that Jesus promises?
Why do Christians have trouble in this world? Even though we sometimes bring trouble on ourselves by not following Jesus’ teachings, being a Christ-follower puts us at odds with this world.
- Ephesians 2:1-3 says Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” and he works in those who are disobedient, as all of us once were.
- Satan wants to destroy us (John 10:10, I Peter 5:8).
Yes, there is trouble in this world but Christ came to save us from following Satan, which is what we are doing when we do not follow Jesus. Hebrews 10:10 tells us, ” . . . we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The Holy Spirit was addressing Christians in this context.
We have a choice. We can follow Jesus or follow Satan. There are no other options. If we are not following Jesus, then anything else we follow is of Satan. Here are a few examples.
- If our greatest passion is money instead of Jesus, then we are by nature following Satan.
- If we are focused on having our own way instead of following Jesus’ way, then we obviously are not Christ-followers. We are following Satan.
- If the lust of our eyes or the lust of our flesh (which describes many different kinds of sin) is our way of life, then we are doing the opposite of what Christ commanded and are falling right into Satan’s trap.
When we become Christ-followers, we make a decision to die to self (Galatians 2:20), which is the same as dying to sin, are buried through baptism (immersion in water) and then are raised to live a new life (Romans 6:1-14). WE ARE FREED FROM A LIFE OF SIN! As we continue to walk in His light, confessing our sins, his blood continually cleanses us from our sin (1 John 1:5-10).
APPLICATION: Read each of the following promises and make a note regarding what He offers.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Isaiah 40:29-31
- Proverbs 18:10
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Philippians 4:8-9
- Psalm 46:1-3
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
As Christ-followers, we will have trouble in this world. He most certainly had trouble. BUT HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD and He will give us everything we need to remain faithful to Him, even during trouble. The apostle Peter told his readers that God will restore them and make them ” strong, firm and steadfast” after suffering “a little while” (1 Peter 5:7-11). And when our time here is finished, we will LIVE FOREVER IN A TROUBLE-FREE, GLORIOUS PLACE RULED BY GOD (John 14:2-3, Revelation 21:1-4).
In the meantime, remember Jesus instructions, “. . . take heart! I have overcome the world.”
-Jo Umberger, Vice President, NewLife Behavior International | NLBIministry@gmail.com
One thought on “Jesus said, “Take Heart!””
Dear sisters, This post is so good, inspiring and encouraging. It has helped me so much because I was in a bad situation. But now I feel relieved. Thank you so much, Jo. I will pass it on. How are you doing and the families? God bless you all. Because of Him Jossie.