John 16:33 — “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (NASB).
Notice how the second part of this verse begins. Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation.” Another version reads, “In this world you will have trouble” (NIV). This is not the kind of promise many Christians want to believe, and they certainly don’t shout about it. Jesus has overcome the world, but in order for Him to overcome, you and I have to face trials we can’t conquer in our own strength. What a sobering truth.
How do you handle yourself when you walk through difficulties? Many people quote this verse as they experience tribulation, but they are not victorious. Why? It could be they skip the part that says but take courage.
We all know we’re going to have trouble in this lifetime, and we also know Jesus has overcome the world. But God’s promises are all conditional. He’s not just going to deliver you out of your circumstance; He expects you to step up and face your trials with courage. Jesus cannot overcome on your behalf if you allow your faith to roll over and die in the midst of tribulation.
When faced with the fiery furnace in Daniel 3, what would have happened to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego if they had tried to flee from their accusers? They likely would have burned up on the spot. But because they took heart and trusted God, He delivered them from certain death.
No matter how rough the circumstances may be surrounding your life today, I want to encourage you to go toe-to-toe with your trial. Take courage and trust God. Look at tribulations as an opportunity to build your faith. Perhaps you’ve been engaged in a lengthy battle. Don’t raise the white flag. Stand your ground. Give Jesus a reason to overcome on your behalf.
1 John 5:4 — For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith (NLT).
*Check out http://www.amazon.com/author/mikejonker for more info and resources.
*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.