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.
It is unfortunate to hear someone preach that when we are converted to Christ all our problems are solved. It is not true that Jesus Christ promised that we would be prosperous and rich by following Him. Nor did He tell us that we would never get sick or that we would always be happy. In John 16:33, the Lord affirms a great truth, In the world you will have tribulation. Being Christians does not put us in a glass bubble or a nuclear bomb shelter. We remain in the world exposed to the same dangers as all other mortals. Our advantage is that our Lord has overcome the world.
When Jesus tells us that we will have affliction in the world, what reminds us is that there will be problems. Being a Christian does not exonerate us from getting sick, from losing our job, from the bank seizing our house, or from having difficulties with our partner or our children. I can assure you that I have suffered in my life from each of these afflictions, not before I knew Jesus Christ alone, but also being a Christian and serving the Lord. I have also met many brethren in the faith suffering similar tribulations.
In his prayer to the Father for His disciples, Jesus spoke to the Father as it is written in John 17:14-16, I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. If we are not of the world and the world hates us, it is evident that we are living in enemy territory. The prince of this world is going to make war on us and it will be very difficult for us as long as we remain on earth.
Pretending that the problems will go away and that we will live prosperous and happy because we are Christians is to hide the truth of the gospel and to plunge more in the darkness to the fragile ones of faith. For centuries, Christians have suffered for their faith in Jesus Christ; but that has not led them to run around the world and sin. Not all Christians have lived a life in peace according to the parameters of the world, but many have endured even martyrdom for Jesus. What has kept them firm is to remember these words: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
The perfect complement to this declaration of trust in those who have already conquered the world are the words of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples: I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. Keeping us from evil does not necessarily mean that we will always be healed of our illnesses, nor that we will keep our jobs all the time or that we will never lose money in business. We have witnessed that not all Christians we have met have been cured of terminal illnesses, some have died.
Now the Lord will always deliver us from evil and will be glorified in our affliction. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. So if you go through a difficult time in your life, do not think that your Heavenly Father has abandoned you or He is punishing you because you misbehaved. As a son or daughter of God all things help you well because you have a purposeful call, remember that the Lord has already overcome the world. God bless you.