How can we find comfort while we suffer?
Finding comfort in difficult times can feel impossible. In John 16:33, Jesus is speaking and tells His followers that “In the world you will have tribulation.” This word “tribulation” in John 16:33 is also translated as “suffering” (CSB) and “trials and sorrows” (NLT). The original Greek word is thlipsis (G2347) which, in context, means oppression, affliction, or distress. This same word is also translated as trouble, anguish, and persecution in other verses throughout scripture.
In this world, we will have tribulation – we will suffer.
33 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 ESV
What do we do when we suffer?
I love that while Jesus is telling us we will suffer in this world, He sandwiches this painful statement with two additional truths that should be an encouragement to every believer.
Right before Jesus tells His believers that in this world we will have trouble, He begins by telling us that it is in Him we will have peace.
This peace, eirēnē (G1515), is “a state of tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war”.
Jesus brings us to a state of tranquility, quietness, and rest. This is spiritual peace. While the world rages and life is chaos, the soul rests in Jesus Christ.
In Jesus, followers of Christ can find spiritual comfort and rest.
This isn’t the only encouragement He gives us, though.
Before Jesus tells us we will suffer in this world, He tells us that in Him we will have peace.
After what feels like two contrasting statements, He then tells us to “take heart” because He has “overcome the world”.
This right here is vital. We must remember that Jesus Christ died and rose again so that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). He sacrificed Himself so that we could have peace in Him. He conquered this world so that we may come into a relationship with God through Him.
This is the ultimate comfort – that if we trust in Jesus, He will give us spiritual peace in this crazy and painful world which He has already conquered.