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. John 16:33 ESV
Friend, if I were to ask you right now how you felt about the world and everything happening, what would you say? Would you express fear or anxiety?
Would you maybe not feel very hopeful or even feel defeated? It may seem like the enemy is winning just because of everything going on.
Well, on the contrary, the enemy is NOT winning, and we can be sure of this because of Jesus.
It seems the enemy is winning…or is he?
It's just one thing after another these days: another school shooting, another violent protest, more hate and anger, little kids attending drag shows -the enemy is hard at work! Yes, it is a lot to process.
And just when it seems we see a glimmer of hope and goodness in the world, a shadow obscures the glimmer. It can be very overwhelming, to say the least, especially if you follow the news or social media.
And yet, John 1:5 ESV says: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
Still, at times, like so many other people, I have asked myself, “what is wrong with people? What is the world coming to?” Only, unlike many people who ask these questions, you and I know the answer to both. We know that it is not pretty and it is also so beautiful.
What is wrong with people? Sin! We are all fallen, broken sinners living in a fallen, broken, and sinful world in which the enemy roams free, looking to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10 ESV). We only need to look to one of the most recent events to see how true this is.
We all remember the events of the past two years, and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling sad and heartbroken over the state of the world, even feeling helpless at times. It can be tempting to say, “what is this world coming to?” The answer to that, contrary to popular belief, is actually very beautiful!
Jesus has overcome the world.
See, in John 16:33 ESV, Jesus says plainly that HE has already won! He has overcome the world. This includes all sin, and what's more — it includes the enemy!
Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross. It is finished. Done. (John 19:30 ESV) Will it get worse before it gets better? Most likely.
However, the enemy cannot win because Jesus has already claimed the victory. Even more beautiful is that Jesus will come back and make all things new. He will set all things right.
Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross.
We as believers will enjoy an eternity with our Heavenly Father free from sin, pain, loss, sorrow, etc. Let that fill you with hope, friend! Things will not remain as they are.
Jesus has already overcome the enemy.
We can look at any situation or struggle through the lens of this incredible truth, not just the current state of our society. Depression and anxiety are something I've struggled with almost my whole life.
I can't count how many times I have felt like this battle will never end. Before I became a Christian, I really believed this, too.
Of course, being a Christian who struggles with anxiety and depression has brought its own monsters into the picture: guilt and shame.
Not that these did not exist before, but now they were worse because if I am depressed while claiming to believe Jesus died for me to save me, what am I saying of Jesus? But that's a whole other story.
I still sometimes feel like it's a never-ending struggle, but now I can recognize the enemy's lies. The enemy wants me to think there is no hope or end in sight.
This is when I must remember and cling to John 16:33: the truth of Jesus' victory over the enemy, our sin, and our circumstances even.
Friend, if you have given your life to Christ, you too can rest in the beauty and power of Jesus' victory on the cross; victory over the enemy's lies and strongholds, and over any and all situations or struggles.
Reflection — TAKE HEART
To take heart means to be encouraged, confident, hopeful, and/or comforted. Therefore, I invite you to meditate on John 16:33, 1:5 and reflect on the following questions:
- Where do you first go to find hope and comfort?
- How does knowing that the enemy is not winning but has already been defeated change your outlook on current events?
- How does it change your perspective on a particular hardship you may be experiencing?
- How can you trust that God is still in control and will make everything right?
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your incredible victory! I thank you that you have overcome the world and will make all things new. Please help me and anyone reading this to cling to you and this truth, to guard it in our hearts.
I pray that you would help us give our worries and heaviness of heart over to you. I thank you, Lord, that though we have tribulation and troubles in this world, we do not have to go through it alone, for you are always with us. I thank you that we can find refuge under your wings and rest in your promises.
You are faithful! In Jesus' Holy name, Amen.
Hey, I’m Cindy! Founder & CEO of The Heart Stuff Co. I’m a book-sniffing, matcha-loving, cat-cuddling, aesthetics-obsessed, paint-smearing child of God and I write to inspire you to live boldly and fully in Christ.