1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Obviously, we don’t enjoy times of trial or conflict.

Despite the assurance we have that God will always be by our side through any and every circumstance (Heb. 13:5), it is still natural to fear and bemoan such occurrences.

In hardships, however, we often forget the very words Christ spoke in John 16:33.

We hear and certainly relate to the first part of His instruction: “In the world you have tribulation.”

We’ve all faced enough problems to know that it is not possible to avoid them altogether. In fact, Jesus takes it a step further by asserting that our faith in Him will actually lead to even more attacks and criticism (15:18-20).

Truly it is impossible for a devoted Christian to live trouble-free in a world that is hostile toward God.

What we tend to miss in Jesus’ statement, however, is the second half of the verse. After delivering the “bad” news that we would have tribulation in our life, He offers a word of hope: “But take courage! I have overcome the world.”

Notice that He didn’t say, “I will overcome,” but rather, “I have overcome.”

In Christ, the victory has already been won.

He has victory over all things. Even the world’s greatest threat, death itself, has already been defeated by Jesus Christ.

Life certainly isn’t easy. However, we have a loving God who not only understands our suffering but also chose to experience it Himself.

Because He did, we can now claim participation in the ultimate victory over every trial of life.

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