But, be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The Lord will prepare us for what comes to pass in life.  Scripture even tells us that God will provide a way out of our trials and temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13).  In the sixteenth chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus was preparing the disciples for His departure.  He even prophesied that they would be scattered.  However, Jesus encourages the disciples by telling them that when they left Him, He would still not be alone.  God the Father would be with Him.  As for their own life, Jesus also looked to encourage their faith by saying:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

The Word of God gives us peace.  Sound doctrine builds up believers and makes them stable in the faith.  Too many preachers are focused on preaching “home run” sermons to impress people.  Instead, our focus should be preaching solid sermons that teach people about Scripture and strongly encourage them to seek God and live holy lives.  We live in a troubled world that does anything but give us real and lasting peace.  This type of peace only comes from God.

Why?  We can have peace because Jesus has already overcome the world.  The Greek background for this word is νικάω (nikáō).  It means to subdue, conquer, overcome, prevail, or get the victory over.  This overcoming is something past.  We see in Scripture that there is a future overcoming associated with the end (Rom 3:4, Rev. 17:14).  However, we see a very present victory in Jesus’ use of the word and other writings by John.  

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:13-14)

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Victory in the life of the follower of Jesus is a present reality.  There is the future hope of a final victory, but the battle has already been won.  Jesus said that He had overcome even before the cross.  How?  He is God, faithful to God’s will, and nothing can prevent God’s will.  Many of us are duped into a paganistic understanding of the world.  Dualism is the name of the set of beliefs some Christians view the world.  It is the idea that God and Satan are in a war as though they as equals.  Although there is enmity between these two kingdoms, and Satan has some power and influence, there is no comparison between God and the Devil.  By the simple fact that God wills to do something means that it is “good as done.”  Christ has overcome because He has willed to do it.

We have overcome because Christ has not only willed to conquer sin in the world and in the individual, but has accomplished the feat through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.  Victory is a present reality in the believer.  We have overcome because of Jesus.