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.”
Jesus gave us His Word that we might have peace – in this world – in spite of inevitable tribulation – in this world. This peace was possible because Jesus had “overcome the world” and with that victory, He has given those who follow Him the same ability to “overcome the world.” This is the secret of peace.
So, what does it mean, to “overcome the world?” Well for one, it means to overcome all the temptations of the world, that which God’s Word describes as “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” for these are the things that are “not from the Father but . . . from the world (I John 2:16).” It is the love of these things – these desires – that, in the end, will destroy peace in the heart. Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, and yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He knew that the temptations of this world that are empowered by Satan will ultimately, in the end, lead to heartache, regret, sorrow, and despair – rather than peace.
Those who give in to the lust of the flesh, sexual temptation, find that “in the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and your body are consumed.” Those who seek the “desires of the eyes,” i.e., money and the things it can buy – will find that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (I Timothy 6:10).” As for pride, how many have found that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).”
But Jesus overcame all of these things on the cross, and He gives His followers the power to overcome them as well. It is in this power that the believer can have peace in the face of tribulation, in no matter what form it comes. It is in this power that the believer resists the deceptive attractions of this world and the inevitable heartache that accompanies them and acquires the indescribable peace and joy that does not depend on any of the world’s allurements for their sustenance.
How true that it is in trusting the words that Jesus has said to us, that we can have peace. Praise God that He has overcome the world and given us the power to do so, as well.