I know “overcomer” isn’t a word, but it should be. I’ve been journaling through John, and got to this fabulous verse today (see below) and thought I’d share my journal on it. Since we all face trials in life, we all need Jesus the Overcomer. If you want to learn more about the SOAP journaling format I used below, read a how-to guide here.
“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)
What a great closing statement to Jesus’ disciples in that moment, and for all who have followed since.
In John’s gospel, much has been said about “the world”
- This is the world that Jesus has said repeatedly he has been sent from heaven to (1:9, 3:16, 3:17, 6:33, 6:51, 8:23, 10:36).
- This is the world that Jesus says is under the rule of an evil enemy, that he is about to emasculate (12:31, 14:30, 16:11).
- Jesus was in the world, but the world did not know him (1:10)
- This is the world that God loves (3:16)
- And sent the Son to save (3:17, 12:47)
- Jesus gives life to the world (6:33) and that life stems from him, the bread of life (6:51).
- Jesus is the light of the world (8:12, 9:5, 11:9, 12:46)
The world has been ruled by the devil, and there are systems of this world that are opposed to God and therefore anyone that is his. In this world Jesus’ followers will have trouble, BUT says Jesus– take heart.
I have overcome the world.
There is nothing we need fear. We may have courage. And our reason is not a weak humanistic one. Our reason is not within ourselves but it is center upon Christ. We take heart precisely because he has overcome the world. He has walked through all the temptations that men faced, and chosen the will of the Father every time. Sin has not defeated him– ever. The enemy had no grip on him. And he walked from that perfect life, and in obedience, into the death that had been set out for him. And then God vindicated him once and for all in the resurrection. And then the Holy Spirit was sent to his church to equip believers, to stand in our defense, to make known the truth of the gospel and this world’s sin, and to convince us of the judgement (a great and hopeful word — a setting right of what is wrong) of the world.
Father, thank you for your love of the world for which you sent your son, Jesus, into the world not to condemn us but to save us. You stand as the rightful judge, and you have shown mercy to us as you set things right in your judgements. What you do is always good. Thank you for Jesus, the overcomer. The one who has defeated the enemy. Hail King Jesus! The rightful ruler of this world and of my heart. As you have defeated the enemy, will you conquer the enemy in my own heart? Holy Spirit, as you convict the world, will you convict me? Will you convince me of the sin in my heart and empower me to deal with it? Will you convict me regarding the righteousness of Christ, so that I may never doubt him? And will you convict me regarding judgement, so that I will trust Jesus words: I have overcome the world.
In you, Jesus, let me find peace.
Peace from my anxious heart.
Peace from my chasing of the wind
Peace from any religion in my heart that wants to earn what you freely give
Peace from the sin that robs peace by overcoming it
And in every trouble and every hardship that will come my way, show me how I may find peace in trusting you.