John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage~~ – I have conquered the world.“
Most people long for peace of mind. Buried by their conflicts, troubles, and fears, they will do anything for a few moments of inner calm. There is peace knowing for certain that there is much more to our existence than this temporary life. Jesus puts everything into perspective, allowing all who learn His view of reality to live with a peace that He alone can give.
Hebrews gives us an insight into the inner fortitude of Jesus: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). Knowing what was waiting for Him on the other side of the cross, He could endure the temporary agony, even suffering the wrath of His Father for man’s sins.
“Peace” is found in understanding the reality of life from God’s perspective. Jesus’s instructions in John 14–16 on the eve of His crucifixion were given to sustain the disciples and encourage them, because this life is not the end of all things. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27). The world’s peace is temporary.
As the Father did not abandon Jesus (Jn 16:32), neither would Jesus abandon His disciples. Bruce Barton in his commentary on John quotes Sebastian Valfrè: of the 17th century in northern Italy, “When it is all over, you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little and suffered that little so badly.” The world will always be hostile: “in the world you have trouble and suffering.” But our bond to Christ brings “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7).
Jesus commanded them to “continuously be showing courage” (i.e., “be bold, daring, [and] courageous”); this is spoken as a coach’s final words before a championship game. He said, “I have conquered the world” (i.e., to “be victorious, or subdue”). Peace is the consequence of knowing the certainty of the end game and counting on its reality. Does this give you courage today to stand up for the Lord?
“Thank You, Lord, for showing us that this world is not all there is; in fact, it is but a moment in eternity. I choose today to be true to You in every encounter.”
In order to practice this command today, I am going to …
For a year’s daily devotional of these Bible studies, order a copy of the book Walking His Way at Branches Publications for your copy.