v. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
This section we read is the conclusion of our Lord’s upper room discussion. In the conclusion, he deals with the emotions of the disciples.
At this time, they were frustrated, worried, afraid, grieved. They didn’t understand some of Jesus’ teachings. They were humans, very ordinary, not even that well educated – but later they were used greatly for God’s kingdom.
So, there is hope for each of us to be used greatly for God’s kingdom as well, though we are ordinary. So, don’t give up! We always have hope!
#1 v. 16-22 Principle
#2 v. 23-28 Promise
#3 v. 29-33 Position to Proclaim
#1 v. 16-22 Principle (Standard) to understand and apply in our daily lives.
“In a little while”?
“Grief will turn to rejoicing”
Principle = Our God brings, gives in our hearts and lives JOY finally – not by substitution, but by transformation (change).
To explain this, Jesus uses the story of a mother delivering a baby.
HUGE pain! initially, but at the same time, receiving that baby = HUGE joy!
The baby caused the pain, but brought joy!
God doesn’t substitute something else to bring joy from the pain, but he transforms what is ALREADY THERE – pain that is already there, and changes it to joy.
Child with a broken toy.
Substitution = parents buy another toy, if broken, buy another toy, if broken, another toy, etc, etc. Whenever broken, buy a new toy. SO, that child grows up expecting EVERY problem to be solved by substitution.
Child-adult, adult-child – they grow up.
Another option = transform that experience to become joy for that unhappy child.
The way of substitution = immaturity.
The way of transformation = maturity.
If somebody replaces our broken toys ALL THE TIME, we will be immature.
The same baby that caused pain, caused great joy as well.
“So with you.” The same with Christian lives.
In the Bible, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to Egypt, and he went to prison. But God transformed that hopeless situation into joy.
Saul pursued David to kill him, but the pain and worry was transforming David into the man of God to write beautiful Psalms.
Jesus died on the UGLY cross – a symbol of death, but God transformed that cross into a symbol of life.
Today, many people may think “joy is an emotion depending on my circumstances.”
That is only HALF true. True joy is MORE than that. TRUE joy is will-power, determination, inner attitude.
Remember Paul? In prison, weak in body, sick, and he shouted in joy, “I WILL rejoice at all times in the Lord!!”
Habakkuk confessed, “the olive tree doesn’t produce fruit, no sheep, no cattle, no fruit, no harvest, YET I will rejoice all the time in my God and my Savior!”
Joy is NOT only a feeling, but a determination! If you choose joy, you can be joyful – regardless of circumstances.
Also, we must understand the words, “a little while.” repeated 7 times.
v. 16 – “In a little while….”
They were worried and frustrated because they didn’t understand the true meaning of “a little while”
Double meaning – at that time, Jesus was talking about his soon coming event, death and resurrection. When he died on the cross, during his burial, they could not see Him, but after a little while, they saw Him in his resurrected body.
The second meaning is FROM returning to Father God UNTIL his Second Coming, we cannot see him. So, this period (now) is “a little while” before God.
When Jesus comes back “soon” we will see him forever.
2 Peter 3:8 “With God even 1,000 years are like a day, and a day is like 1,000 years.”
In human history, no matter how long it is, ANY and EVERY period is “a little while.” (Imagine your history textbooks)
James 4:14 “What is your life, you are a mist, a fog that appears for a little while and then disappears.”
What is the longest period of human history?
From Creation to Jesus’ Second Coming.
Even this is “a little while” when compared with eternity.
Rev. “the first earth and heaven will disappear, and a new heaven and new earth will appear”
Even this is “a little while” when compared with eternity. Forever is kind of a long time.
Remember that the best is coming soon. If we remember that, we can be joyful under every circumstance.
#2 v. 23-28 Promise
“Ask in my name”
How beautiful this promise given to us.
It is a promise of prayer – ask “in my name”
The central theme here is prayer.
As his cross is coming nearer and nearer, he emphasizes the necessity and blessing of prayer.
Originally, John 14, 15, 16 was a single sermon – Jesus repeats 7 times “in my name”
John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask for anything in my name.”
John 14:26 “HS whom the Father will send in my name will teach and remind you of all I’ve said.” John 15:16 “Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name”
John 16:23 “In that day (age of Holy Spirit – now – we are absolutely free to approach God at anytime in the name of Jesus), you will no longer ask me anything, …in my name. 24 Until now, you have not asked…in my name…26 In that day, you will ask in my name…”
7 times “in my name”
Prayer is one of the most wonderful promises and great privileges we can have.
1 Corinthians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
Is this “pray continually” thing a burden? or a privilege? This means that I’m ALWAYS ready to listen to your voice to bless you, to walk with you, to help you (God says).
Parents love their children’s voices – if they talk for 3 hours, it’s great! But if they talk for 24-hours a day all day, every day….can you keep listening?…. “You said that before…Go to bed! Stop!”
Our God is never tired, never bored of our voices. This is a HUGE blessing, right, privilege.
Once, there was a dispute (debate) between Catholic Priests and the born-again Church on this matter.
Catholics argued, “this is a difficult job, we need many complicated processes – Jesus’ name PLUS Mary’s interceding PLUS saint’s interceding PLUS my good work” (the more help the better)
Pastor, “no, Jesus name is MORE than enough to approach God.”
Through the name of Jesus we have gained access to God’s grace.
Acts 4:12 “ There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved,…”
Priest interrupted – “Yes, Bible says this, but reality says… ‘When we want to meet a human President – like Obama, Lee MyungBak – we need many processes, gates, requirements, security, permission, appointment, wait’ …Imagine if a HUMAN President is so difficult to meet, how much more difficult to meet is GOD?”
Pastor, “Yes, humans are difficult, but, how about the CHILDREN of that President? I’m a child of God, how about you? I can walk into his office for no good reason whatsoever, just to say ‘Hi’ or ask for a candy.”
God has given each of us the right to become children of God (Romans?)
One of the main ministries of the Holy Spirit is to remind us that “you are a child of God” no matter how your (face) faith looks (ugly, or beautiful) – we are STILL children of God – that’s why we can always, anytime, approach God about anything – in the name of Jesus.
This is one of the greatest blessing we could receive. Please, enjoy it without measure.
#3 v. 29-33 Our Position to Proclaim
“You believe at last!”
“I have overcome the world!” (my favorite)
Through this passage, we can see it is possible to have faith, understanding, but fail to the Lord.
Unless we apply our faith, apply our understanding, we will fail when the testing comes.
Our Lord warned Peter that he would deny him three times – it happened.
Here, he warns that all the disciples would forsake him and leave him all alone – it will happen.
Even though I’m alone, the Father is with me.
Yet, ONE time, Jesus felt the absence of the Father – when God turned his back on his Son on the cross.
But Matthew – last verse “Surely I’m with you to the end of the age.” Hebrews “never will I leave you, never forsake you, no one can snatch you out of my hand.”
But, when he became sin for us – in our place, God turned from him. He became alone so that we would never be alone. He became forsaken so we would never be forsaken.
Is there a time that you feel God is far? You are far from him.
Is there a time that you feel God is doing nothing? Then, you are doing nothing for him.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In Jesus Christ, there is peace, but in this world there is trouble and tribulation.
In heaven, there is only joy.
In hell, only tribulation.
On this earth, joy and trouble go together.
Do you have peace or do you have trouble?
If you are a really true Christian, the correct answer is “both.” Jesus told us we would have trouble.
Many people think (incorrectly) that peace is the absence of trouble. But if you think that, then you will have no opportunity to have peace.
Everyone has trouble because we are in this world. Unbelievers have no peace because they are not in Christ. We have peace because we are in Christ. But, we still have trouble.
Experiencing peace WITH trouble is the power of the true Christian faith.
Which overcomes which?
Are you overcome? Or overcoming? Overcomer?
We have trouble in this world.
We have peace in Christ.
This world is not in me.
Christ is in me.
So, peace can OVERCOME the trouble – ANY trouble. We are of Christ Jesus, we are not of this world.
1 John 5:4 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world.” This is the victory of our faith.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!!!”
May God bless us with his Word.