“I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 TLB
“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
True happiness isn’t a trouble-free life; it’s a troubled-free life. Jesus told us that in this life we will have trouble, and so we have to learn to deal it and not just go with the flow. As believers we are not “under the circumstances” because we are seated in heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:6); we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37) and God is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). We are not victims and should not embrace a victim mentality because greater is Jesus in us than anything that we could ever face in this world (1 John 4:4). We are not exempt from troubles in this life – but we can choose whether or not the troubles trouble us.
I am not saying that we should ignore our problems and challenges. That’s passivity and it could destroy you. We have God-ordained authority to deal with problems (Mark 11:22-24) and we need to resist the devil and his attacks if we want him to flee (James 4:7). We don’t ignore the problems – we deal with them. And we don’t focus on the problems – we focus on Jesus and His Word! We’re choosing to value God and His Word over our circumstances. We’re choosing to place our hope and trust in God and have an eternal perspective rather than allow the temporal things (which are subject to change) to determine our joy and peace.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (is fixed) on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Isaiah 26:3 KJV (brackets mine)
If we fix our minds on God and the promises in His Word, we will experience perfect peace. To fix our minds on something means that our minds cannot move from that position – they are stuck. When we dig our heels into the ground and decide to not to allow anyone or anything to shift our focus from God and His promises, we will start to experience perfect peace. But when we are unstable and allow our minds to be filled with God’s Word one moment, and then allow our minds to be filled with fear and unbelief the next, we will not experience peace.
We need to choose not to focus on the troubling things happening around us because circumstances and people will never make us consistently happy; our joy and happiness is only found in Jesus. We can be filled with joy; we can be courageous and confident no matter what comes our way because Christ has overcome the world and His victory is eternal. And we are in Christ – therefore, we have overcome, too! His victory is our victory!