Read John 16:1-33.
Many people think that after they give their lives to Jesus, everything about their lives will get better. Then, they are surprised that their life actually gets more difficult after deciding to follow Jesus. Their family members or friends do not understand their faith. An unexpected health crisis arises. Suddenly, coworkers begin treating them differently because of their decision to follow Jesus. Life becomes even more difficult, and they find themselves confused and discouraged. Today, we are going to see that Jesus never taught that life on earth would become easier when someone chooses to follow Him. In fact, He taught that life on earth would always have trouble. He also promised hope, because ultimately, He has overcome the world and its trouble and pain.
In John chapter sixteen, Jesus’ last few moments teaching His disciples before His arrest and crucifixion continue. He tells His disciples that soon, all of them will abandon Him and leave Him alone. This is a prediction of what is about to happen when Jesus is arrested. Then, He says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (verse 33). In other words, Jesus is telling His disciples what to expect. This world will be full of trials and sadness (this is not good news), but He quickly tells them to be encouraged because He has overcome the world. Even though this world is going to produce pain and sorrow, Jesus has overcome it. Notice the verb tense of the word “have.” Jesus does not say “I will overcome the world.” He has overcome it. He’s already done it!
What are you facing today? Are you feeling the pain and sorrow that is a result of the sin in this world? My friend, even on the darkest day, you have this hope: Jesus has overcome the world. You do not have to live your life hopelessly. Remember, you’ve seen a glimpse of the end, and Jesus has overcome everything. One day, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “wrong will be made right.” This is the hope that you have to cling to.
How have you seen that life has become more difficult since you began following Jesus? Despite the hardship you are facing, do not lose hope! Jesus has overcome the world. Take time today to memorize John 16:33 so that you can recall it easily during particularly difficult times.
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