I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33
I continue pondering this verse. What “in the world” do we look for most? Universally the answer would be Peace, including prosperity, pleasure and freedom from pain. Jesus clearly states that in the world we will rather find tribulation, trials and distress, so we shouldn’t be overcome with surprise when it occurs. Yet the search continues in spite of the fact that overcoming peace is found in Him. Solely. Soul-ly. Whole-ly.
Either the challenges in the world master (overcome) me or I master (overcome) them. What has been conquered now requires servitude to the Victorious conqueror, no longer yielding any power or authority. So, as one not overcome by what is offered by the world, I need to see it as subdued and in service to Christ. I noticed that lately I’ve been asking people how their trials and difficulties have served them. Under His dominion, they now serve a higher purpose. A good purpose. An overcoming-evil-with-good purpose. What do the trials and tests of the past year bring to the surface within me? What do they reveal of my heart and my beliefs – that which I have been serving? Fear? Yes. Pride? Sadly, yes. Yet, once brought to the Light, He deals with it (and me) time and again so that I can move forward, stuck no longer. What wrong beliefs or attitudes have mastered me, things which I hold the power and authority to overcome? To have such overcoming power within me and not be aware of it or use it (like my Ipod -7/9/13) defies the purpose for which Christ died – it was for freedom that Christ has set me free! My spirit is not yoked to the difficulties in the physical realm with health or doctors or pain or even death; they do not master me. They have been overcome! They may exist, but I live over them!
My assignment of serving my King in this conquered kingdom is to come under His mission despite the various skirmish scars and battle wounds. They are not the point (though admittedly they can be very distracting from the point). Yet, they serve me as visual reminders, training me to walk in confident faith and peace in His promises. They serve me as I am overcome with His grace as He walks through the shadowy pathway of an unknown future, each rocky hillside of side effects Don experiences. Amazingly, the Victor Jesus has conquered them, giving me His spirit of victory, so that they serve me, so that I can better serve Him!! Though I confess I wouldn’t describe myself as “cheerful” about it, I am overcome with joy in His presence and in things I once took for granted. I am overcome with peace because He has overcome the world.
Thank You for Your overcoming victory, Lord. Help me to live under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit and over the circumstances as You take us through the challenges.