I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world. – John 16:33
Jesus had just finished telling the disciples a lot of difficult things. They were presented as contrasts: this “not good” thing is going to happen so that this other “good thing” will happen. For instance, He told them He was going to be leaving but it was to their benefit, because the Holy Spirit would come to them after he left.
The contrast Jesus talks about here is remarkable. We are living in the world, and the world does not believe in Him. We cannot escape it’s pressures and troubles. We may have suffering or feel anxiety. Jesus explains that He is telling us about some of these things that will confront us in order that we will have peace. Wait, what? How does knowing about all this unpleasantness help us? Because we realize that Jesus already knows about them, and He has in fact experienced them Himself. “I know what you are going to go through.” The remarkable part is Jesus is not only aware of our struggles, He not only empathizes with them, He has in fact defeated them. Jesus says he has conquered the world.
When we face difficulties, distress and discomfort we can face them with courage. We can boldly move forward knowing that all of those things have already been overcome through Jesus. He has won. We have won with Him. He has defeated the world, we have been forgiven, and His peace lives inside us.