JOHN 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
THEME OF THE DAY: DON’T FORGET HIS PROMISE AND PRESENCE. The words of our Lord Jesus in today’s scripture are directed to a bunch of fear-gripped disciples. Jesus is heading to the cross, the tomb, and then back to heaven. And they cannot come. These stumbling but sincere disciples needed words of encouragement, just like we do in living the Christian life in a hostile world.
As Jesus seeks to build courage in His disciples, He does three things. First, He reminds them of His words already spoken to them. Next, He arms them with the truth that life lived for Him is going to be full of tribulation. Finally, He commands them to be courageous because He has overcome the world which will make them overcomers as well. The lesson for us? The theme of today’s nugget – don’t forget His promise and presence.
In living out the Christian life, the need for courage is great. Our foes are strong. Our fight relentless. Our fears real. Courage is needed and courage is commanded. The words of the Lord to Joshua as he was taking over the leadership of God’s people moving into the promised land are appropriate for us living for the Lord Jesus – No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:5-9). But this courage is not drummed up in the strength of ourselves. We need divine help. We need overcoming power; the power Jesus states is within Himself – take heart, I have overcome the world.
The overcoming power of Jesus is not just for Jesus. In fact, He overcame all His spiritual foes so that we too might overcome our spiritual foes. In order to do so, we must focus not on our foes and circumstances. We must remember what has already been given us to overcome our enemies – the promise of Christ’s power and presence.
We are reminded of this in the Apostle John’s first letter – Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Take notice what John states. We are already overcomers of our spiritual foes. Why? The overcomer Himself dwells within us. Application? Let’s stop asking God to give us strength to overcome the difficulties in life. He has already done so. Instead ask Him to help us remember what He has already given us – overcoming power of Christ in our lives. Then start thanking Him for the overcoming power we have. That is faith in action; accepting what God says by promise and then living the promise out as He directs.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I forget the power of Your Son not only for me but living in me.”
QUOTE: “Remember, Christ for us is also Christ in us and that makes all the difference in daily living.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,