“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).
Peace – True peace is found in Jesus. The words “in Me” send us ahead to Colossians 3:3, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Our life is hidden in Christ, you are complete in Christ, and it is “in Him” that we have true peace.
Tribulation – But the world seeks to shake us from this peace, this rest in Jesus. Trouble attacks us from all sides in this fallen world. We learned previously in these verses that the world system hates us. We have an enemy, the devil, who seeks our destruction. “Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Pet 5:8). And we have an enemy within, our flesh, that tempts us toward the dead-end path of sin.
Courage – In the face of this tribulation … take courage! Fear not! Do not be afraid! Courage is commended to us many many times by Jesus. A familiar story in Matthew chapter 8 is Jesus and the disciples crossing the sea of Galilee during a furious storm. Jesus is asleep in the boat as the waves threaten the lives of His followers. They awaken the Lord with a cry, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” Jesus answered them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Mt 8:25-26).
True courage is totally powered by faith. We can be bold. We can be strong in the face of our enemies and in the face of the world’s tribulation because our faith is squarely upon Christ, our deliverer.
Overcome – The promise from Jesus as this chapter comes to a close is, “I have overcome the world.” Christ has overcome. Christ has defeated all of His enemies. And our faith is our greatest weapon in “overcoming” with Christ. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith” (I Jn 4:4, 5:4). Faith brings the victory.