“The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33
The Gospel of John dedicates 5 chapters of his gospel to the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples on the night before He was crucified. John believed that those words were spoken not only to the disciples who were about to be scattered by the Roman authorities, but to us, who have also become the disciples of Jesus and are scattered around the world. For all of us, victory is to be joined to Christ in the family of faith, to live in that faith. We are not insulated from the world and its tribulations, but because we are rooted in the victory of Christ over death and evil, we have victory and know peace even in the midst of tribulation.
FJ HUEGEL: We have come now to the secret of the victorious life. The “how” of a thing is always the very heart of the matter. It is here that we shall have to divest ourselves of mistaken notions. We shall have to get down to bedrock as to what victory for the Christian is, and as to how it is obtained.
In a sense, the word (“victory”) has unfortunate connotations. It conjures up fields of battle. It smells of “the (boxing) ring.” It suggests muscle and courage and struggle (and brains!). The Christian, we say, must fight and overcome. Yes and no. No, the Christian does not struggle to overcome in his own strength. He does not overcome with the aid of Christ. It is not he plus the aid of his Savior. He does not come first. It is Christ first and last, with the Christian literally lost in the Savior. . . .
No, the Christian does not struggle toward a possible victory. He is more than conqueror because his life flows from the triumphant death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: Dear God,
Thank you that I do not have to struggle to overcome tribulation, adversity, or people who rub me the wrong way. If I will simply believe that Christ has already overcome, if I will simply wait on you to open a path and guide me along it, if I will simply continue to invite the Spirit of Jesus to work in my life—then I will know peace and the kind of victory that will change me for the better and will draw me closer to you. That is the kind of victory that I want! Amen.