Hours before Jesus’ death, facing down the cross, he used some of his final breaths to give Christians a warning and a blessing: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Jesus’ words poured peace into millions of Christians before being murdered for their faith. In 2016 every six minutes a Christian died for believing in Jesus (nearly 90,000 deaths). It’s impossible to count how many more endured mockery, ridicule, and abuse for the faith you share with them in Jesus.
How have you been mocked at school/work?
What fights happen in your family over religion?
Persecution is going to happen and increase as our world walks steadily away from honoring God’s Word. So Jesus warned, “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus knows. He knows the pain you’ve felt; he’s experienced it himself. He knows the mockery you’ve faced. He knows your trouble, so he promises peace and protection. That’s why he went to the cross. Christ assures you, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
If you are persecuted for your faith, you’re in good company. You stand with Jesus as Jesus stands before you. He is your shield and your deliverer. He is your Good Shepherd who fought back that roaring lion looking to devour you for eternity. He won! He lives! He reigns! In this world you will have trouble; persecution will be here, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. You are his . . . forever!