He has overcome the world

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I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Jesus is trying to prepare his disciples for what they will face in the days ahead. His arrest, his death, their desertion, the despair and confusion between Friday and Sunday. Jesus has forewarned them that he will leave them, but that he will return again. Even after his glorious resurrection the remaining 11 disciples faced troubles – in fact every single one of the them, apart from John, died a premature death at the hands of persecutors.

We now live in an in-between time. We know that Jesus is alive and that he has conquered death and sin, and yet we still live in the fallen world. We are waiting for the final restoration and renewal of all things. Jesus knew that his disciples would need supernatural encouragement to make it through the days that would follow. He offers the same encouragement to us – no matter what the world throws at us, it will be OK, because he has overcome the world!

Jesus wants us to have peace. This does not mean an absence of trouble, but an ability to remain focussed, grounded and filled with hope and joy even in the midst of trials. Notice that the way we obtain this peace in him. We are wasting our time trying to find it in anything else.

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