Jesus is a straight-shooter who gets right to the heart of the matter.
Jesus never told His followers that life would be all rainbows & butterflies. He never buttered up a crowd with (what Tozer calls) “rosy promises of modern salesmanship.” Far from it! He warns them that the world is going to turn on them. The world is going to hate them! (John 15:18-19)
He told them not to be surprised when the world acts like the world, expect it! Today we should expect the same thing. (See 1 John 2:15 and Rom. 8:17 & 12:2)
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Jesus says WE WILL HAVE TRIBULATION.
- Trouble is implied.
- Persecution is assumed.
- Distress is definitely coming.
Be honest when sharing the Gospel: Hey, this is going to require serious life-change. Life will get much harder. He is the God of NEW; new birth, tongues, wine, songs, heart, spirit, covenant, name, creation, commandment, heaven, and earth! (Bonnke)
If we paint an utopian picture of what being a Christian looks like (e.g., all your problems will vanish, your business will prosper, and you’ll be happy all day long) then we are not being intellectually honest.
If a new convert believes this what will they do when the storms of life blow in and wreak havoc? “The first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them.” (Tozer)
“We MUST go through MANY hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” – Acts 14:22 (Emphasis mine.)
That much is true. However, this much is true as well:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – Rom. 8:37
The silver lining is that although the world despises us, we “are of good cheer” (tharseó, literally: “radiate warm confidence”) in Jesus who has overcome the world. “Overcome” = níkē, (yes, like the shoe) – which means “victory, implied as in battle.”
We will face the same brutal wind that blew on Jesus, but He walks with us through the gales.
Praise be to God!
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be of good cheer = http://biblehub.com/greek/2293.htm
overcome = http://biblehub.com/greek/3528.htm
Bonnke, Reinhardt. Holy Spirit: Are We Flammable or Fireproof?: Christ For All Nations CFAN, 2017.