“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]

Tribulations, have you had any lately? If not, be sure and praise God for the break, for tribulation can strike at any moment.

Well, Sam, that is not a very positive statement. You are always talking about not worrying, and now you want me to worry about tribulations. No, I want us to live by what Jesus said in John 16:33, “But take heart, I have overcome the world.” As Christ has overcome the world, He has also overcome tribulations. We will have them, but if we will give them to Jesus and trust in Him to resolve them, we can live in peace – not fear.

What is tribulation? : distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution; also : a trying experience: as the trials and tribulations of starting a new business.

In the NIV, the word tribulation is interpreted “trouble”; “in this world you will have trouble.” The NLT translation says “many trials and sorrows.” The Amplified Bible says, “tribulation and trials and distress and frustration.” The NLV says “much trouble.” The Greek version of this verse uses the word thlipsis for “trouble.” That word is about tribulation and affliction. It comes from a root meaning “to crush, to press, to break.”

The truth is, any way we interpret John 16:33, Jesus is telling us, “buckle up, it is not always going to be easy!”

The important part of this verse is not the tribulation part, it is the “Take heart, I have overcome the world” part.

As believers in the Risen Christ we have a blessed advantage over non-believers. We live with the knowledge that we are indwelled by God’s Holy Spirit; that we are guided and protected and we are promised eternal life in heaven. We will have tribulations in this life. We will walk through storms. We will be rained on just as the non-believers are rained on, but we shall not perish. We never walk alone. When we can no longer walk on our own, our Savior will carry us. You are blessed to know this wonderful news. Now, go tell others.

—Dr. Sam Smith is the organizer of Butterfly Ministries and can be reached at ssmithkate@aol.com.