Q. In John 16:33 Jesus said we will have tribulation in this world, but to be of good cheer or courage because He has overcome the world. I have to say I’m not real sure exactly what Jesus meant when He said this. I know in my head there is nothing more powerful than God or Jesus and that He always has the final say when it comes to anything in the world. But how are we supposed to be of good cheer concerning pain and suffering?
A. Jesus was talking about the everyday trials and tribulations of this world, and telling us not to let them get us down, because one day soon this will all end for us, and we’ll enjoy eternal life with Him. This will happen because He has overcome the world.
He took everything the world could throw at Him, and even after they put Him to death, He walked out of His grave and took a seat at the right hand of majesty. Because He did, that same future awaits us (Ephes. 2:4-7).
A companion to this verse is Philippians 4:4-7 where Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Whatever the circumstance, we can and should rejoice in the fact that the One we belong to is greater than all of our problems. He has overcome the world, and by trusting in Him and Him alone we will overcome the world as well. Even if the prince of this world himself attempts to afflict us we should have no fear, for “greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
“For our citizenship is in Heaven and we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body” (Phil. 3:20-21).