In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.– John 16:33.
When the Lord conversed so kindly with His disciples and promised them that later on they would fully understand His words, they said, in a burst of feeling: “Lo, now speakest Thou plainly and speakest no proverb. Now we are sure that Thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask Thee;” for, they would say, Thou answerest before we ask. “By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.”
Ah yes, poor disciples; they believed, believed in their Savior. But their faith was still very weak. Therefore the Lord answered them: “Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” How manifestly were these words fulfilled but a few hours later! And His last words were: “These things I have spoken unto you that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:29-33).
Have not we, too, tribulation in this world? Does not the devil, as a roaring lion, walk about, seeking whom he may devour? Do not the unbelieving children of the world hate us? Does not our own wicked flesh and blood imperil us? Does not all manner of trouble and adversity threaten? And death? And judgment? And hell? Yes, and do not the trifling, little things often frighten us more than the great and serious hostile powers that surround us? And does not our own faith often grow weak? Do we not often grow fainthearted and despondent? What are we to do? We need to take refuge in the Word of Jesus.
In His Word, the Holy Ghost is divinely present, and through it He rules and strengthens us, and makes us mighty in God against every terror, and gives us peace in Jesus, who has overcome the world, and every wicked thing in the world, for us. And He comes and gives us the victory He has gained over everything. And by His Word and the Holy Spirit, working through that Word, He gives us sure knowledge of this, and good cheer. Indeed, let us take daily refuge in the Word of Jesus and be of good cheer. Then the storms of life will not be able to engulf us. And lastly, we shall enter the abodes of eternal peace through Christ Jesus and His perfect work for us, that Christ who is the only way to heaven (John 14:6).
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, Thou knowest how frail I often am, and of so little faith. And yet, I am Thine and believe in Thee. Help me, my Savior! Strengthen me more and more in my weakness; endow me with ever greater courage. Comfort me more and more with Thy peace! O Lord, Thy help is at hand already, indeed, in Thy Word. Thy Word is a living and divine power. Thanks be to Thee for Thy Word! Draw me more and more to Thy Word, and let me experience its living power in an ever greater way. O Lord Jesus, Thou great Conqueror, give me Thy victory more and more unto eternal peace, unto eternal comfort. Amen.
“We are the Lord’s; His all-sufficient merit,
sealed on the cross; to us this grace accords.
We are the Lord’s, and all things shall inherit;
whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
We are the Lord’s; no darkness brooding o’er us,
can make us tremble,while this star affords
a steady light along the path before us;
faith’s full assurance that we are the Lord’s.
We are the Lord’s; no evil can befall us
in the dread hour of life’s fast-loosening cords;
no pangs of death shall even then appall us.
Death we shall vanquish, for we are the Lord’s.”
Hymn 453, vv. 1, 3-4. (TLH)