“These things I have spoken to you in order that in me you can have peace. In the world you have tribulation. But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The world can be a crazy place. Terrorism scares us. The struggle with depression confuses and frustrates us. Everyday problems are intimidating at best. Still yet, Jesus says, “cheer up, I have overcome the world.” The phrase “be of good cheer” translates one Greek word which is defined as “to be firm in the face of danger or adverse circumstances, be enheartened, be courageous” (BDAG 444).
Examine just a couple of words from this text and be comforted by God’s loving power. First, Jesus acknowledges present suffering. Jesus said, “in the world you have tribulation”. This is a present tense verb. Suffering was real then and continues to be real today. It is healthy to acknowledge our problems. Only when we acknowledge our problems, can we begin to progress toward greater days.
Second, Jesus says that “peace” can also be a present tense reality. Even though we are suffering, we can have peace. We see that “peace” and “tribulation” are present and coexist! That concept seems contradictory, but that is possible because of the third statement we must examine.
Finally, Jesus said, “I have overcome the world”. Both our peace and our tribulation are described as being a “present tense” reality. However, when Jesus said, “I have overcome the world” he used a special verb tense which refers to an action completed with continued consequences. Because Jesus has defeated this world and paved the way to His heavenly home for His people, I am always at peace. We are comforted by the Gospel promises.
This world is just a little while. Our life is but a vapor. Eternity is our true destination. Cheer up, Jesus has overcome this world.