Take Heart (He Has Overcome)

“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.”

John 16:33 (NIV)

Jesus uttered these words during his final hours on this earth. The disciples had gathered with him to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover and it is then that Jesus told His disciples to Take Heart and not be fazed by what was about to come their way. This was the last meal that the group ate together as the lives of those twelve ordinary men would turn upside down after this night.

Warning or Encouragement

Many see the above verse as a warning of what they can expect during their journeys on this earth. While others find it as a source of encouragement when they are going through their testing periods. Jesus meant these words to resonate a greater note in our lives, a greater purpose. Each one of us was put on this ball we call earth with a purpose by our Creator. The ordeals we go through in this life are not designed by our Creator to test our faith, as He is omniscient. Jesus even gives an example so that His disciples (then and now) can relate to what is about to come in our present future and how it contrasts with what we can expect when we leave this world.

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:21-22 (NIV)

Nothing on this earth can come close to the contrast of emotions a mother goes through during her childbirth and the moment she gets to hold her baby for the very first time. The unbearable pain is quickly a thing of the past as soon as the baby arrives in this world and into her life. All of us have times of unbearable pain in our life, some physical and some emotional. When going through those hardships, we feel that no one else has faced what we are going through.

The world around us compounds our misery by misquoting scripture references to give reasoning to our troubles in attempts to give us (but mostly themselves) answers and perhaps a way out of our predicaments. Some even try to portray a false sense of empathy by saying that they understand what we are going through. How could they understand when it is happening to us and not to them? Only we can understand what we are going through, we and our Creator.

I Have Overcome This World

Jesus told the disples to Take Heart when they would be persecuted by the world around them and no one would be able to understand their pain. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins by leaving His comfy seat at the right hand of the Almighty and came down to this earth to go through the troubles of this life. He was mocked and ridiculed, questioned and then persecuted for His answers. If that was not enough, He was physically put through hell and slaughtered like the Passover Lamb that He was always meant to be for all of us. He overcame all that this world and its princes could throw at Him and never forgot His purpose for coming to this earth. He died on the cross taking all our sins and punishment upon Himself overcoming this world.

If Jesus has overcome the world, then why do we still suffer? Why is there pain still in the world? The Hillsong group re-recorded the song Take Heart during the early days of the pandemic when everyone was asking the same question. Sufferings and sorrows have always existed in this world but only when we see them in our lives or in the lives of the people we love, do we go to God with those questions. Our incomplete faith prevents us from making sense of the chaos around us. The disciples saw countless people in distress come to Jesus for help. They even prevented a few of them from meeting Jesus as they could not understand the turmoil in the hearts of the people who desperately seek the Healer. But when sufferings and sorrows found them they could understand clearly what Jesus’s words meant.

Take Heart

Our God is our Ultimate Provider who knows what we need before we even realise it ourselves. Jesus was not a backup plan when Adam fell but He knew and planned about our sins all along. He sent His Son to this sinful world to redeem all of us and wipe away our guilt. Yet there are those who blame the sins of this world for the chaos that occurs in our lives. We need to block the voices of this world who pretend to understand what we have been through and only listen to the One who sent us to this earth with a divine purpose.

God is bigger than our pain and suffering and if we trust Him, He will reveal His plan for our lives even in the chaos. Our troubles will seem minuscule when we have the Creator by our side guiding us through the chaos of this world. Our past sufferings would be forgotten as we sojourn on this journey with our Creator, the only one who can say “I understand what you are going through but Take Heart, for I have overcome this world”.

In death by love
The fallen world was overcome
He wears the scars of our freedom
In His Name
All our fears are swept away
He never fails
...All the world and its troubles
Take heart for He has overcome
All the world and its troubles
Take heart for God has overcome


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