In previous blogs I have covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). Continuing now with Christ’s additional teachings. The next of which is ‘Be of good cheer’.
John 16:33 – 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. Here Jesus is addressing the disciples just before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. This message was a means of warning them of the trials to come but also in comforting them of the truths – that He is their peace and He has conquered the world.
There is so much uncertainty
Cheer up! – the world can say this to us on the occasion of our face being glum. But without Christ where is the hope? Where is the cheer? There is much in the world today to feel despondent about. It is in turmoil. Luke 21:26 says that in the latter days ‘men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth’. There is a sense that that is happening now. When once life went on as before. Now there is so much uncertainty.
But when ‘in Christ’ there is everything to be cheerful about. Those who know Him are among the most privileged people on the earth. Jesus said to His disciples ‘many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.’ Matthew 13:17. And we can see and we can hear. How favoured we are to be living in these days – the age of grace. We have free access to His Word. We are in the era of unfolding prophecy and unveiling revelation. And we have Christ and His Word of unending promise. It is much to be in ‘good cheer’ about.
Cheer up, I have overcome the world
Henry says – He comforts them with a promise of peace in Him, by virtue of His victory over the world, whatever troubles they might meet with (John 16:33): “cheer up yourselves, for I have overcome the world.”
Christ preached this farewell sermon to His disciples that in Him they might have peace. He aimed to satisfy them for the present that His departure from them was really for the best. It was also said to them that by enjoying Him they might have the best enjoyment in themselves.
It is the will of Christ that His disciples should have peace within, whatever their troubles may be. Peace in Christ is the only true peace, and in Him alone believers have it, for He shall be the peace, (Mic. 5:5 And this One shall be peace). Through Him we have peace with God, and so in Him we have peace in our own minds.
They shall have tribulation
What they were likely to meet with in the world: “You shall not have outward peace, never expect it.” Though they were sent to proclaim peace on earth, and good-will towards men, they must expect trouble on earth, and ill-will from men. It has been the lot of Christ’s disciples to have more or less tribulation in this world. Men persecute them because they are so good, and God corrects them because they are no better. Men design to cut them off from the earth, and God designs by affliction to make them ready for heaven; and so between both they shall have tribulation.
Keep up their delight in God
The encouragement Christ gives them “Not only be of good comfort, but be of good courage; have a good heart on it, all shall be well.” In the midst of the tribulations of this world it is the duty and interest of Christ’s disciples to be of good cheer, to keep up their delight in God whatever is pressing, and their hope in God whatever is threatening.
There may be sorrow, in compliance with the temper of the climate, and yet always rejoicing, always cheerful (2 Cor. 6:10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things), even in tribulation, (Rom. 5:3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.)
Christ’s victory is Christian triumph
The ground of that encouragement: I have overcome the world. Christ’s victory is a Christian triumph. Christ overcame the prince of this world, disarmed him, and cast him out; and still treads Satan under our feet. He overcame the children of this world, by the conversion of many to the faith and obedience of His gospel, making them the children of His kingdom. When He sends his disciples to preach the gospel to all the world, “Be of good cheer,” says He, “I have overcome the world as far as I have gone, and so shall you; though you have tribulation in the world, yet you shall gain your point, and captivate the world.”
He overcame the wicked of the world, for many a time He put his enemies to silence, to shame; “And be you of good cheer, for the Spirit will enable you to do so too.” He overcame the evil things of the world by submitting to them. He endured the cross, despising it and the shame of it.
By His cross the world is crucified to us
Never was there such a conqueror of the world as Christ was, and we ought to be encouraged by it. Christ has overcome the world before us; so that we may look upon it as a conquered enemy, that has many a time been baffled. He has conquered it for us, as the Captain of our salvation. We are interested in His victory; by His cross the world is crucified to us. So that it is completely conquered and put into our possession. All is yours, even the world.
Christ having overcome the world, believers have nothing to do but to pursue their victory, and divide the spoil; and this we do by faith, 1 John 5:4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
May we live in the reality of the truth that we are more than conquerors in Him.
I have overcome the world – John 16:33 Are you thinking of victory? Do you feel you are living in defeat? The victory of Christ alone is your triumph In Him you are complete. Do you want to overcome the world? Have you thought up some special way? Do you expect God to do something For you in some future day? Christ has overcome the world. In our hearts we must be deeply aware That He has already triumphed; Victory is not a present-day affair. May we see afresh what we already have in Christ May such a revelation cause our hearts to sing. If we do not believe, we will receive nothing; But if we do believe, we have everything. In Christ there is victory. All is ours in the name of Jesus; Justification, sanctification, forgiveness, every spiritual blessing; God can do no more for us. If we be in Christ All that is Christ’s is ours. There is no limitation here So there can be no limit to our powers. There may be tribulation in the world But we can be of good cheer for we know That if we enter into the fullness of Christ Then that which is in Him, will in us overflow. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your Word. I thank You that in You I can be of good cheer. For You have overcome the world and in You I am an overcomer. May I walk in this truth. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.