“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (conquered, prevailed, been victorious).” John 16:33 (NIV)
You probably already knew this, but I just realized that Jesus said this to his disciples at the last supper. After Judas had left to betray him.
Yet, Jesus said, “I HAVE overcome,” because from where God sits, there is no time. Jesus had already overcome, in fact he had overcome from the foundation of the world.
He [the Lamb who was slain] was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:18
Jesus knew what the disciples were going to experience in the next days and he wanted to give them something to cling to. He hoped they would remember his words in that dark day between the despair of the crucifixion, and the blazing light and joy of the resurrection. As Philip Yancey wrote, “It was no accident, I believe, that Jesus spoke his triumphant words, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD, even as Roman soldiers were buckling on weapons for his arrest.”
We are in a very dark and scary time right now. It is easy to succumb to fear and even despair. Let us rest and abide in the One who promises to always be with us. Let us be still and know that he is God. He has already overcome this dark world, and whether we live or die, our peace is in him, our ultimate home is with him. By faith, and in hope, let’s sit with him in heavenly places and see the end of this trouble.
“It is a good thing to remember, when we encounter dark, disturbing times, that we live out our days on Easter Saturday.”—Philip Yancey[i]
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)
[i] Where is God When it Hurts?