“Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:31-33)
These are the words spoken by our Lord just before He went to the Cross. He challenged His disciples to believe that He alone is the Savior of men. His disciples were ‘scattered’ and left Him alone to die. In Greek, the word ‘scattered’ is ‘skorpio’. It means the sting of a scorpion, so painful, that men run away and scatter abroad. Peter, who represents all of us, ran away from Jesus and even denied knowing Him. The devil, the evil ‘scorpion’, has done his worst. But Jesus encourages His disciples by reminding them of who He is. Jesus is Lord! Even when we are unfaithful, He remains faithful. Even when we fail, Christ can never fail! He is the victor over sin, sickness and death! Salvation was gained by Jesus Christ alone. We ran away. We cannot share in His glory as the only Savior of men. The glory is His alone, the Lamb upon the throne, slain for the salvation of sinners like you and me. This is what I believe!
Jesus is preparing His disciples for what shall come. His words are eternal. In this world we shall have ‘tribulation’. In Greek, the word ‘tribulation’ means to be hard pressed, to be stressed or to be squeezed into the mold of the world. The world is the system of men who live without Christ. The people of this world hate God but love religion. They strive against one another. ‘Dog eats dog’ is their strategy to succeed. They have bitter envy and selfish ambition in their hearts. They lust for sex and material things. The devil is ‘the god of this world’. He will try his best to make you backslide, for you to enter the world system and to live like them. The devil will try to teach you how to seduce, manipulate and intimidate others so that you ‘succeed’ in this world. Resist the devil and he will run away from you!
What shall we do then? What is our hope and shield against this flood of evil in our minds? It is the peace of Jesus Christ that ‘passes all understanding’. Jesus left this peace to us on earth! This is not the natural peace you may have when all things go well. The supernatural peace of Jesus becomes stronger when things go wrong, when hearts break and tears fall. Filled with this peace Jesus went to the Cross. He died in peace. He rose from the dead in peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace! Our Lord is the greatest Champion who has ever lived. This is His anthem: ‘I have overcome the world!’ Never forget that! Thru His peace Jesus has overcome the world system of greed, lust, envy and wickedness. His Peace is stronger than them all. In Him alone we find this peace. ‘In Me you may have peace!’ That is why in Christ, we too, are champions. No matter how loud the world shouts about its success, anyone outside Christ is a loser!!! Do not be intimidated by them! But anyone inside Christ is a winner! We move from one triumph to another, from one testimony to another! Victory is our portion! Jesus says: “Be of good cheer!” Thru all things in this life, be strong, faithful, courageous and confident of the God you serve! There is no one like Him! Give God Glory! Child of God, I say to you: Be encouraged today! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! May the peace of God fill your hearts today and forever! In Jesus name, amen!
I love this message and this has been a passage that’s stuck with me for years.
God bless you, Pastor!