John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Toward the end of the Gospel of John Jesus is talking with His disciples privately.  He is preparing them for what is about to happen to Him.  The Great Agony is before Jesus.  Shortly He will be taken from His disciples, they will all be scattered, the great Stone Peter will crumble, and only John will be at the foot of the Cross (desperately hanging on to Mary for support).  In order to prepare His Disciples for what is coming, Jesus declares His victory over the world, “I have overcome the world.”

Jesus guaranteed the Disciples tribulation.  But He says that He told them “these things” so that they might have peace.  There’s an odd thing indeed.  The foretelling of tribulation was to bring the Disciples peace.  Jesus wanted His people to know what was coming and to be able to see through and beyond tribulation all the while being “of good cheer,” as they lived in His victory over the world. 

Jesus won the victory over the world.  He did so by being betrayed, beaten, mocked, spat upon, flogged, tortured, and crucified.  To everyone who stood by this certainly didn’t look like victory, it looked like defeat.  This is the paradox of the victory of Christ.  Victory in Christ looks like defeat and defeat in Christ is really Victory. 

In Christ Jesus we can all have peace.  We can have the peace that nothing else can afford.  In our relationship with God we can have the peace of knowing that we are justified (made right with God) through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.  In the everyday events of life (tragic and trivial) we can have the peace of knowing that in all things “we are more than conquerors.”  And in the big picture of our life together with others in community we can have the peace that passes all understanding, which flies in the face of all outward observation, and makes us able to rise above the world and live above its demands and fears. 

No doubt some are saying these are the worst days that the world has ever seen.  I find that laughable.  It simply isn’t true.  But what is true is that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  No matter what absurd and audacious rulings are handed down by the Supreme Courts of Men and no matter what it costs us who will not waver in regards to the truth of God’s Word, we shall be of good cheer together knowing our Savior Jesus has overcome this world. 

By God’s Grace let’s step out into the world in the Victory of Jesus with the light of love (the love of God flowing through us) and dispel the darkness.  Remember that Jesus on the Cross did not curse those who cursed Him.  He did not exercise all of His rights.  He allowed Himself to be trampled upon for the salvation of His murderers and cried out “Father forgive them.  They know not what they do.”

Matthew 4:43-45 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

David

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