Complementary Contrast

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]
John 16:33 AMP

This morning, I am encouraged that there are two ways to look at this verse:

  • “In Me” VERSUS “In the World”
  • “In Me” AND “In the World”

If we look at “In Me” to be speaking of Heaven, then we can at the troubles and trials and suffering of this life NOW as a CONTRAST the life of perfect peace that a Christian can look forward to in the FUTURE.

But if we look at “In Me” as His victory abiding in us through the Holy Spirit that is promised to the believer RIGHT NOW as a necessary COMPLIMENT to our troubles, trials and suffering.

Someone unawares of concepts like Christ’s abiding victory, the Holy Spirit, and the Kingdom of God doing God’s will on Earth as it is in Heaven might look at God only as a promise of “Heaven vs Hell” after we die. And while the promise of Heaven and meeting God “some day” has its place and its purpose — leaving one’s religion as only this perspective can leave a wrong impression of God as only a far away, hidden, quiet, inactive, “big daddy in the clouds”. If this is our experience, understanding, and perspective of God, we will do well to press in closer to the abiding presence of Christ In Me.

Christ In Me is close, present, guiding, powerful, and a comfort. Christ In Me is Him walking with me inside the fiery furnace type trials that I will experience in this life when I stand upon His Word.

The Word of God doesn’t promise Health, Wealth and Prosperity if you’ll fork over your money to a swindler, dress the part one day a week, and remember to say something about God at meals and bedtime. That might be how some people sell religion as a way to control, manipulate, and oppress others — but the Word of God introduces us to Christ and to walking in The Way, which are clearly quite different than the ways of either the worldly/carnal or the religious/self-righteous.

This verse seen from both perspectives (of both CONTRAST and of COMPLIMENT — of both a promise for NOW and a promise for the FUTURE) provides a helpful tension to neither let me ignore the reality of Hell and Heaven, nor to dismiss it as only worthy of buying into a religious membership card as a means of purchasing fire insurance against Hell. This perspective both demands the importance of abiding In Christ Jesus every day for a peace that goes beyond understanding, and promises and reminds the believer that Christ has won the victory.

Lord, some of us may know about religion and about you but may not yet know you — by your grace, may we believe in Christ Jesus’s victory, confess our sins, surrender our lives, profess our faith publicly, and live our lives abiding in you and producing the fruit of your Holy Spirit, for your honor and glory. Some us may know you but need our flickering flame stirred into a roaring fire of abiding in you and walking in our calling and purpose — by your grace, may we humble ourselves, repent of our sins, put on the whole armor of God, cast away everything that hinders us, and walk in The Way. Amen.

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