“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.
Overcoming the World
How often have you ever doubted whether you were actually saved or not? I know of several people who have done just that. It is sometimes from a lack of time in prayer, a lack of time spent in the Word of God, an ongoing sin, or maybe all three. Jesus said to the disciples to not be troubled about the things of the world because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). The disciples were anxious because Jesus had just told them that He was going away and they didn’t know what they were going to do without Him. They focused on that more than on Jesus’ promise that He would come again for them and take them to where He was going (John 14:3). It seems that the pressure of this world can give us amnesia over the promises of God, and I am certainly not immune to that.
Jesus had earlier said that He would leave them His peace but not the same kind of peace that the world gives (John 14:27), which is really no permanent peace at all. Jesus’ peace would remain with them through all of their upcoming trials and tribulations, and Jesus wanted them to focus on His promises and not on the pressures of life that would surely come their way. It’s a very interesting fact of nature that one of the most precious gems in the world is formed under great pressure, and if not for that enormous pressure, we’d have no diamonds. The pressures of the world are constantly trying to conform us into its own image, but we have to choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2). To be renewed in our minds is to choose to have our minds renewed. God never forces His will upon anybody. We are free moral agents and must choose good over evil, so we cannot let the pressures of this world trouble us to the point that we forget the promises of God.
Grief Now, Joy Later
Jesus didn’t ignore the grief that the disciples felt knowing that He was about to go away, but He acknowledged their grief by telling them that He was about to go away (John 16:6). However, He reminded them that their grief would soon be turned into joy (John 16:22). Paul didn’t try to cover up the present sufferings that believers were going through, but he wanted them to compare what they were going through then to the glory that was coming someday (Rom. 8:18) and that even in our suffering, it would turn out to our advantage (Rom. 8:28). Paul was not a pessimist. He thought ahead of those things that were coming, and it helped him endure his present hardships. So why let the pressures of this life bother you when Jesus has said that He has overcome the world?
A Closing Prayer
Father, please help me to put into perspective the present times of being hard-pressed against that of an unspeakable future of eternal joy and bliss in Your presence someday. Let me dwell on the eternal things while still living in the present, and in Jesus’ most precious name I pray.
Republished by Blog Post Promoter