Dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus the Christ,

 The Lord Jesus said, “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 worldJohn 16:33 (NIV). Several things stand out about this one seemingly little verse of Scripture.

 Let’s begin with the words – “in Me”: It is “in Him” that we have whatsoever because Jesus the Christ did all the work; it is by His finished work that those who believe (faith) are entitled to receive. In other words, everything bestowed the precious Lamb of God so too have those “in Him”. The spiritual harvest of a heritage may be easily discerned relative to continual renewal of the mind in the WORD by the Teaching of the Holy Spirit. However, the natural, physical manifestations thereof are a different matter because the devil works through people to fraudulently hold-up, misdirect, or sabotage in an effort to steal from heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ Jesus. Yet the evil one can’t willfully get his hands on it because God’s priceless inheritance is kept for us beyond the reach of change and decay (1 Peter 1:4); it is kept for us, never kept from us. We keep our eye on Jesus because it is “in Him” that we are entitled; though various aspects may be turned-over wittingly or unwittingly by not doing in keeping with the WORD and/or not following the Holy Spirit.

 Next are the words – “have peace”: Sent of Yahweh Shalom, Jesus is peace because He is of the Godhead having proceeded from the God of peace (1Th 5:23; 2Pe 1:3-4). The Sovereign Lord God Almighty appointed Jesus as evidenced by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31). Therefore, as Jesus is of Jehovah Shalom and we are “in Him”, we have access to this peace “which passeth all understandingPhilippians 4:7 (KJV). The Lord Jesus is the Prince of peace having made peace in reconciling us unto Abba Father (Colossians 1:20). Peace is of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-13); that those reconciled unto the Father by the blood of Jesus are commanded to grow or produce or give evidence of. God the Father doesn’t command anything that we are unable to do. Rather, God sets us up to succeed; for it is to His glory that we bear much fruit. Abba Father sowed the life of His only begotten Son – Jesus who is the Vine; we are the branches whereof the fruit is made evident (John 15:1-8).

 Then, the word – “trouble” (re the troubles of this world): Trouble is not of God; never seeded of God. Knowing that God’s plan for us is (always) good is to our benefit when we do in keeping with His Word, and follow the Holy Spirit who Jesus asked God the Father to send as Comforter, Counselor, and Teacher (John 14:15-26 & 16:13; Acts 1:8; Galatians 3:14). Trouble was and continues to be a consequence of doing contrary to God’s advice. As it is written, God can neither be tempted nor tempts man (James 1:13). Tribulation isn’t the goal. The chastisement/punishment that bought us peace (Isaiah 53:5) was not so that we might learn to suffer. The fruit of patience undergirds faith (Heb 6:12); and it is by God’s power within that we are strengthened with all the endurance and perseverance necessary with joy (Ephesians 1:19 & 3:20; Colossians 1:11).

 Next the words – “take heart!”: The exclamation point can’t help but be noticed and, more likely than not, the last thing the flesh feels like whilst “going through” is the excitement announced in this verse. Ah, but we are to shout Hallelujah! anyhow; laugh out loud regardless of whether the flesh doesn’t feel like it. Doubt and fear are cohorts of the devil who doesn’t know what is on a human’s mind. (Only God knows our exact thoughts.) The devil attempts to put or give thoughts; and he has watched long enough to know how he might perpetrate to provoke ungodly words allowing him entrance. Hence, we take great care about the words we speak because we have the DNA of the Sovereign Lord God Almighty – Creator of Heaven and earth, Who calls things that be not as though they are. The fruit of joy is a byproduct of the first fruit – love just as peace is a byproduct of the second fruit – joy. God is Love (1 John 4:16), and He is the One who will help every earnest endeavor to walk in agape. We keep our eye on Jesus, for the joy of the LORD is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

 Now the word “overcome”: We have been given the sacred ministry-of-authority in the Name above every name (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 10:19); that we may overcome every obstacle of the enemy. The fact that Jesus the Anointed One and His Anointing defeated the enemy at the cross for the benefit of humankind was that we may be overcomers. Again, this requires adherence to the Word of God and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Of course, in order to know whether the Holy Spirit is doing the speaking, one must have some familiarity with the character or essence of GOD; and this is accomplished in the same way we become familiar with another person, via relationship: spending quality time with and doing just as much listening as talking. As it is written, “4) For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5) And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God1 John 5:4-5 (NLT).

 Speak the promise . . . Harriet