“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jn.16:33
Jesus spoke this wonderful word of encouragement shortly before He went to the Calvary. When He suffered the affliction of the cross – He endured the worst of conditions for those He came to save.
Although His outward condition was about to become one of unbelievable agony, yet His position was one of unshakable security. Earlier from Jn.14:10-11 He told the disciples that He was “in the Father” and that the things He said and did were not in accordance to His own will, but of the will of the Father. Even so do we have a like relationship with Christ. According to Eph.1:4, we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world!
In Jesus (who is our peace) we have peace; whereas in this world we have tribulation. But, praise His name, Jesus has “overcome the world”.
God’s grace of faith readily receives this Word from God. What an understatement it truly is — that in the world we will have tribulation. Everyday in this world proves the veracity of this declaration, and it is certain that our Lord knew this to be true — more than anyone — when He said it. What He means to convey for the strengthening of our faith is that — although we must endure the tribulation that fills up the conditions of this world — we who are positioned in Him will have peace…because He, the Prince of peace, has overcome this world of tribulation.
“Tribulation” connotes the pressures that we are under on virtually every level of our life. Whereas the word for “peace” communicates the “rest” of our being in union with our Lord. We are, therefore, by grace united with the only one who has indeed “overcome” the world. That is to say that He has subdued it and brought it completely under His reigning control…Hallelujah! It is no wonder, then, that He also encourages us to “be of good cheer” — which literally means that we are to, in Him, be brave and courageous in the presence of all the world’s trials and pressures.
Is.48:10 declares that the Lord has literally chosen and tried His people “in the furnace of affliction”. We are reminded from this passage of the experience of the three Hebrew boys in the midst of the fiery furnace…with the Son of God. They came out — they came through it — without even the odor of smoke on their clothes.
And finally, Acts 14:22 relates to us how Paul and Barnabus went back through Lystra, Iconium and Antioch “strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God’.” And, having been positioned in Christ — we cannot fail.