In Christ We Have Peace
The world we live in is fraught with trials, tests and temptations. Our Lord, Jesus the Christ, acknowledges this when he says, “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.” (John 16:33)
In the same breath it seems, Jesus confirms for His disciples a life of tribulation and a place of solace in the mist of that tribulation.
Apart from Christ, life must always be a tragedy in the end, filled with troubling experiences and brief hiatus’ of rest, peace and joy; yet always in the shadow of death. (Ps 23)
But for the believer, for the person who is in Christ, there is provided a special gift of peace. A gift that according to Jesus, is provided by things He has spoken to us.
The scripture quote above is taken from things Jesus said to His disciples in the shadow of the cross, preparing their hearts for the crisis at hand. In the great redemptive plan of God this crisis could not be avoided, however those who would experience it could be comforted and prepared to survive it.
They could be told where to get peace in the time of trouble, how to understand the crisis, and the appropriate attitude for going through the crisis.
In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is revealed to be the Prince of Peace. Any real and lasting peace must be found in the accomplishments of Jesus Christ, because it is in Him only that we have peace with God and are secured against His righteous judgment. (Romans 5:1) It is only in Christ that the tragic story line of mankind will end in “happily ever after.”
Remarkably, we are told by Jesus to “be of good cheer” when experiencing the tribulations of this world. Tharseo, the Greek term translated “be of good cheer” in our opening quote, may be understood in this context to mean that we should go through the tribulations presented to us in this world with courage.
And the reason we should have this attitude of courage is because Jesus has overcome the world in which we experience tribulation.
The courage spoken of here is not a “dutch courage” produced by some kind of intoxicant, but rather an encouragement of the heart, affecting both the mind and emotions, produced by your faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ; thus “be of good cheer.”
Therefore the Apostle James writes, “my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials …” Don’t let the trials of living in this world get you down. Rise up on your faith in Jesus Christ and be of good cheer regardless of what you may be going through. And always remember the Jesus has overcome the world and provided a “happily ever after” for all who have faith in Him.
Rev. George Frey, Jr.