These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer…
These last words of our Lord's last discourse must have rung melodiously in the ears of those who were privileged to listen to them. No more cheering tones, no brighter vision, could Jesus have left with his bereaved, but not orphaned, not comfortless, disciples.
I. CHRIST'S PEOPLE MUST ENDURE TRIBULATION.
1. This is the consequence of their remaining for a season in a world where sin and sorrow still prevail.
2. It is involved in their participation in their Master's lot. If he was hated and persecuted, how can his followers escape? As the world treated the Lord, so in a measure will it treat those who are faithful to him, and who tread in his steps.
3. This lot is not one of unmixed evil. Tribulation is discipline; the wheat is threshed in order that it may be set free from the husks and straw, and the character of Christians is, as a matter of fact, refined and purified by the winnowing of affliction and persecution.
II. CHRIST HAS CONSOLATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR HIS PEOPLE WHEN THEY ENDURE THE TRIBULATION OF THE WORLD.
1. His words bring peace. The whole of the discourse which here concludes breathes of peace. His revelations of the present and of the future are alike tilted to soothe the mind perturbed by the distresses and the disasters of this life.
2. His sympathy brings courage. It seems to have been a favorite saying of our Lord, "Be of good cheer!" Be courageous and confident! It was, however, a saying always accompanied by his own Divine presence and voice. It was powerful because it came from his lips, from his tender heart, because with it there went out from him to his afflicted ones the spiritual power which enabled them to endure and strive and hope.
3. His conquest brings victory. Even now, before he was overwhelmed with the baptism of sacrificial sorrow, he could speak of himself as having overcome the world. But a few hours had yet to elapse, and the world should lie at his feet, purchased, vanquished, subdued! And Christ overcame, not for himself, but for his people; that, fighting by his side on earth, they might reign with him above; that, overcoming in and with him, they might sit down with him upon his throne. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.