A Word for Today | John 16:33
In the first half of John 16:33 Jesus promises His peace to those who believe in Him and trust His Word, in whatever storm they may have to pass. The verse concludes with Jesus’ final words to His disciples before leaving to be arrested: “In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Are we surprised when trials descend upon us unexpectedly? We should not be, given Jesus’ clear teaching. Here is a promise that is certain to come true if only we live for a little while longer: “In the world you will have tribulation.” The English word “tribulation” derives from a Latin word for the flail that was used to separate the wheat from the chaff. The world is the place of testing where our faith is revealed and made strong through trial. A. W. Pink writes: “While the Christian is left down here he suffers from the weakness and weariness of the body, from temporal losses and disappointments, from the severing of cherished ties, as well as from the sneers and taunts, the hatred and persecution of the world.” Matthew Henry notes: “God designs by affliction to make them [ready] for heaven; and so. . . they shall have tribulation.” Knowing this truth should direct our hearts away from the treasures of this world – which are always unstable – and to the blessings of Christ, which never fade or fail.
Jesus said, “I have overcome the world” in the very shadow of Golgotha, where He would suffer God’s wrath at the hands of evil men. He spoke of victory as He stepped forward to embrace his apparent defeat, knowing that through His sacrifice God would grant salvation to His people. You may rely on Jesus’ victory when you feel panic or realize that your faith is failing. Our victory is Christ crucified for our sins and the risen Christ reigning with power at God’s right hand. Take heart! Christ has overcome the world!
Jesus knew that when trials struck His people that their faith would be troubled. Perhaps your faith is wavering under the pressures of our present health emergency. Then realize that Jesus did not forsake His disciple, even though they scattered after His arrest and Peter briefly denied Him. Jesus knows that you will have tribulations; your trials do not suggest that you have fallen outside of Christ’s will or plan for your life. We, like the first disciples, are kept safe in His hand; even your faith itself is secured by Christ’s unfailing grace (Jn. 10:28). So take heart! Christ has overcome the world!
In Christ’s Love,
 Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 17.
 Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, 6 vols. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, n.d.), 5:927.