I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
This is a real turn of events as in the two most recent Verses of the Day (John 14:1 and John 14:27) Jesus said
Do not let your hearts be troubled while here He says In this world you will have trouble. Then He says But take heart!
Why? Because, in His words, I have overcome the world.
Before going much further if you go here to Biblegateway you will find 59 versions of this verse and only eleven of them use the word heart, fifteen of them use cheer up or be of good cheer, and twenty-two use take courage or be courageous. From earlier word studies we know courage comes from the heart as does good cheer, so I find the NIV’s use of heart acceptable.
In our verse today, Jesus ends His direct teaching to the disciples. In the next chapter He prays to be glorified so He might glorify His Father, next He prays for His disciples, and then He prays for all of those who believe and will believe in Him (us!). Then He led His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where He would be arrested.
Jesus prefaces His statement In this world you will have trouble with I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. What He has told them was some very specific troubles they will face and He will leave, but return – turning their grief into joy. Soon He tells them they will clearly understand all He has said. Then He makes this clear as well, the only real peace they will have is in Him, in Me you may have peace. Peace will not be found in the world, that is where trouble will be found, but in Jesus they may have peace. What is this peace in Him that He is speaking of?
[T]he peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
A few versions say [T]he peace of God, which transcends all human understanding which I like the sound of, but is not really necessary.
Jesus concludes with But take heart! I have overcome the world. When He says I have overcome the world He is speaking of the victory He knows is coming as if were already completed. This also reveals He does not experience time as we do – in linear fashion, but sees what will be as well. He is their Savior bringing them all salvation and from His perspective, He has already triumphed. In His triumph they will also be victorious no matter the trials in this world. The same is true for each and every one of us. So let us take heart! knowing Jesus has overcome the world!
Sometimes in our trials and tribulations we forget Jesus has already won the victory for us and though Him we have a peace that transcends human understanding. We have so much to be thankful for because of the free Gift of Grace and now along with that we know we can also have peace that transcends human understanding no matter what we are going through. If we lose that for a moment or temporally we have only to start putting Christ Jesus first and then The peace of God will guard our hearts.