I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
A friend invited me to his home to watch a crucial basketball game for his favorite team. We both had to attend a meeting at the time of the game. So, he recorded it in order for us to watch later.
As the game progressed, my friend’s team was getting badly beat. But, my normally expressive friend seemed unconcerned. Finally, I asked him why he was not acting like the fanatical fan I knew him to be.
He responded, “One of the guys in our meeting got a text about the game and told me that my team rebounds in the fourth quarter. I am not worried because I know we are going to win.”
Jesus does not want us to be unprepared for the battles that we will face, standing for him in a world opposed to him. He gives us a clear heads up saying, “In this world, you will have tribulation.”
Jesus warns us this way because he knows that we could easily turn away from him if we had false expectations about a life with him putting us on “easy street.” But he does not only warn of battles, he tells us the eventual outcome – his victory.
So, yes, we may face hard times and difficult people, but we need not be overwhelmed because we know who will overcome. The outcome is already determined: Jesus wins! And we are on his team!
Heavenly Father, sometimes challenges of this world threaten to overwhelm my faith. Keep me faithful, relying on Jesus’ assurance that he has overcome the world and his victory secures my eternity.