John 16:33 “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.”
Christians often assume or are taught that once we come to Christ, then our life is to be followed by material blessings and a life without worry. This is to be the sign of God’s blessing on our life, and if that is not the case, it is due to a “supposed” lack of faith. When we read John 16:33, we understand that this is not the case at all. This passage reveals that a true Christian will face many troubles in this world. It may not be an easy life. The material blessings of this world should never be an indicator of your level of spirituality, rather it must be measured by the fruit produced by your life and your love for God.
John 16:33 begins by saying, “I have said these things to you”. That is to say, you need to pay careful attention to everything said in previous verses. In John 15:18 to 16:4, Jesus warns about the hatred of the world, because we are not of the world and Christ chose us out of the world. In John 16:4-15, Jesus teaches us about the work of the Holy Spirit, and that He will guide us in all truth. In John 16:16-24, Jesus speaks about the present sorrow, but it will turn to joy. Finally, in John 16:25-33, Jesus speaks about overcoming the world. The final words in John 16:33 concludes His discourse to the disciples by saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.”
The Christian needs to recognise that we live in two spheres, just like the disciples did. As long as we are in this world, there will be tribulation. This is the sphere of the world. The tribulation that is certain to the followers of Christ is of an outward nature. Whereas the “peace” of God, is inward peace. The inward sphere is one of abiding in Christ and His words abiding in us. When you set your hearts on the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1) you will have true peace. You will have peace when you put to death the things of this world, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). In fact, in John 17:15, Jesus prays saying, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”
In other words, Jesus is saying He is not asking the Father to remove us from all the problems we will encounter. Rather Jesus prays for protection from the evil one. We are not exempt from attack and temptation, but we have freedom from permanent influence from the evil one. The reason for this is, God needs us for a time in this world. We have much work to do for the Kingdom of God. We are the body of Christ, we are to preach the Gospel, we are to bring glory to God, and shine His light to the world. We are ambassadors of Christ. We are to glorify God in all situations.
All of God’s children can and will experience troubles in this world. In the midst of all these tribulations, may our peace be found in Christ. When we are dead to the world, our eyes set on Christ, and our satisfaction found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then we will have a peace that passes all understanding, regardless of the trouble we are in. Amen! In closing, take heart for Christ has overcome the world and it is He who abides in you. Glory to God!