We're looking at how to reign and rule in life. How to rise up and live in the abundance that God has got for us. This doesn't mean that we're not going to have challenges in this life; I'm not saying that the Christian life is a trouble-free life, in this world we will have troubles (Jesus told us that) but we don't have to be troubled. John 16:33, “these things I have spoken unto you that in me, you might have peace in that in the world you will have tribulation (or trouble) but be of good cheer for I've overcome the world.” So Jesus is speaking and he's saying, “you're going to have trouble in this world, but you don't have to be troubled. Take heart, be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” We can overcome because we are in him. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who loves us. We've got to stop having a victim mentality and start having a victor mentality; a victorious mentality.
So Jesus says, we're going to have problems in this life, but we don't have to allow those problems to push us down and weigh us down because we are created to live in victory. And what does that victory mean? It doesn't mean the absence of problems, rather it means that you're standing strong no matter what's happening in your life.
John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I've overcome the world.” If we look back a few chapters to chapter 14 it’s quite significant. The whole thing is basically like one last sermon just before his death and resurrection. Jesus is really starting to prepare his disciples for the greatest tragedy that anyone would ever face. Think about it: they thought that Jesus was the Messiah and they thought this rabbi of this was their hope. And now they're going to see him crucified. They're going to see him die, and they're going to forget the prophecies that he's going to raise from the dead. And so Jesus is busy preparing them for that. And I like how he starts off in John 14:1 and he says, “let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.” What I want to show you from this verse. It's just that it doesn't matter what tragedy you're going through and it doesn't matter how bad circumstances can be, your heart doesn't have to be troubled.
The Christian life is not a trouble-free life, it's a troubled-free life. “Let not your heart be troubled.” You know what that means? It means that you have the ability, you have the authority, to let your heart not be troubled. You have the choice. Are you going to be troubled or aren't you going to be trouble? You have the choice. Are you going to be anxious? Or aren't you going to be anxious? You control your heart. You are the gatekeeper to your heart. You decide what gets in and you decide what gets on you. Even if you take it down to the root of the matter, you are the one who decides what you're going to feel. In your heart you've decided that this is how you're going to react and respond to certain things. And so if those things happen, based on your values and your perceptions and what you've decided in your heart, even subconsciously, you will bear emotion fruit in accordance with what’s going on in you. Feelings are really just a fruit; a natural by-product of focus and heart beliefs.
Jesus says, “let not your heart be troubled.” You don't have to be troubled about anything! Heaven and earth can give way and you can stand firm, stand strong. It says, “you believe in God. Believe also in me.” That's really significant because it's our faith that enables us to get through the tragedies, to get through difficult situations. So often we kind of think we have to be emotionally strong. You don't have to be emotionally strong. All you need to do is have your heart and mind set on Jesus to trust in him. And as you trusting in God, as you trusting in Jesus, then it makes it easier to not allow your heart to be troubled because it doesn't matter what's going on around you. God is more trustworthy, and God is bigger than anything you're going through. He can get you through absolutely anything. He can turn any situation around. If you just trust in him is a great investment! If you put your faith in the negative and go, “oh, I don't know if this is going to work. Oh, I don't know how I'm going to get out of this situation”, that's going to reproduce negative emotions. But trusting in God, you will never be put to shame. I want to finish off by reading this verse to you.
Psalm 46:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
We can trust God. It doesn't matter what you're going through right now, it's not bigger than God. Trust him to have your best interest at heart because he's your father and he loves you.