“In this world you will have trouble. But take courage! I have overcome the world!” ~Jesus
These ancient words of our Lord are not about what happens after we die. This is not supposed to increase our faith in Christ for everlasting life after death. These words are intended to move us to new levels of confidence for living right now. Jesus is pushing us to new heights of assurance in God’s faithfulness to us right now. We don’t have to sin! We never have to compromise! In the middle of the mess, we can live fully for our Lord and his coming Kingdom because his victory is ours!
Scripture doesn’t ignore the bad stuff. The Bible guarantees there will be bad stuff. Living in this world as a follower of Jesus means you’re going to experience some trial and tribulation. You’re going to encounter opposition. There is suffering in this world. There are people who hate Christians in this world. There are so-called Christians making things worse. There are the normal problems that come with living in a fallen world. And there is the devil himself. But Jesus reminds us that none of that opposition has a chance.
No one can successfully condemn you. No one can ultimately defeat you. Christ died for you. God raised him to life for you. And he is your divine intercessor. Nothing can ever separate you from his love and his victory. So you can be a full-speed, brakes-off, no-looking-back follower of Jesus. You can take risks for the Kingdom of God. You can be extravagant in your forgiveness and acceptance of others. You can be lavish in your love for everybody, including your enemies. You can be all in, all the time and never be swayed by the world.
Jesus overcomes the world for you. His victory is your victory when you are in him. It’s your victory when you embrace him in faith–his triumph becomes your triumph. His eternal life, his righteousness, his holiness, his redemption belongs to you! That’s why it’s called Gospel. It’s really good news!
Jesus says, “Take heart. Take courage! I have faced your enemy and I’ve conquered it. I have fought your battle and I’ve won. In fact, it’s a blowout, it’s a rout. It’s not even close. You can’t do it. Never. You don’t have a chance. But that’s okay. I’ve already done it for you. And I’m doing it right now for you and in you and through you.”
As you start 2024, listen to our Lord Jesus. It’s a promise. But it’s also a call. It’s a call to live for Christ and his Kingdom right now today.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take courage! I have overcome the world!”