Peace in a World of Trouble :: By Steven Pace

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NJKV).

Thursday Night Encouragement

Our world is constantly filled with chaos, conflict, and trouble. In every area of life, we encounter these aspects. For example, the global financial meltdown of 2008 revealed the vulnerability of the world’s economic systems and the potential for chaos in financial markets. Furthermore, all you need to do is look to the constant political upheavals, global pandemics, and natural disasters to see a world filled with trouble and void of peace.

For Christians, this should not surprise us, as Jesus stated that the world will be this way until He returns. John 13-16 is often referred to as the Upper Room discourse.

While a variety of topics are discussed on that Thursday night, the purpose of the discourse is given in John 16:33. Although the disciples would experience hardships, they could maintain peace. Essentially, Jesus was telling them that they were “living within two spheres- “in me” and “in this world.” [1] In this article, we will examine both spheres and see how Jesus wants His followers to have hope and peace in a troubled world.

In the World

Jesus states that disciples should expect the world to be a place of tribulation. Note that he says “you will have,” not that “you might have.” The use of tribulation should not be confused with the future tribulation period as described in places such as Revelation 6-19.[2] The word tribulation comes from the Greek word thlípsis, which means tribulation, trouble, and affliction. While Christians are not subject to God’s wrath in the future tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10), we do experience thlípsis in various forms.

“Christians are not exempt from tribulation, but rather they are especially subject to it. Their tribulation consists largely of persecution and the opposition their testimony meets in an unfriendly world.” [3]

We see how this took place following Jesus’ ascension. For example, Acts 11:19 speaks of the persecution of Stephen, and 2 Thessalonians 1:4 mentions the persecution of the Thessalonians. From the early days of the church in Acts till today, with the persecution of missionaries, this verse has proved true.

It is important to remember that we live in a fallen world.

Sin has affected not only humanity but also creation itself. In Romans 8:22, Paul states that the world groans with pains likened to childbirth as it, too, looks for restoration.

“We live in a sighing, sobbing, suffering world. The whole creation groans and suffers pain like that of childbirth. Nature’s music is in the minor key. The earth is racked by cataclysm. The blight of death is on every living thing.” [4]

We can be encouraged, however, because we know that the Bible tells us that one day creation will be restored. No wonder those without Christ or this Biblical knowledge lack peace in their lives.

In Me

So, is there any hope for the disciples of Jesus in a world filled with trouble? The source of hope is found in Jesus’ two words, “in Me.” Although his disciples would experience persecution, hatred, and slander, their continued growing relationship with Jesus would provide peace.

“In Christ there is peace; in the world there is tribulation. This is the position we need to claim: we are in Christ, and therefore, we can overcome the world and all of its hatred.” [5]

Jesus acknowledges the presence of trouble and turmoil in the world but offers hope and peace through faith in Him. Despite the challenges and chaos that may exist in the world, believers can find comfort and strength in their relationship with Jesus because He has overcome the world. We are overcomers because He overcame on the cross. Jesus has made peace by the blood of his cross. One day, Jesus will return and establish the Millennial Kingdom, where true peace will be present on earth.

The exhortation is simply to be of good cheer, to take courage; Jesus has already triumphed on the cross. When he returns one day, He will sit as King in His Millennial Kingdom.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).


Dr. Steven F. Pace

Senior Pastor
Decatur Bible Church


[1] J. Carl Laney. Moody Gospel Commentary – John, pg. 297.
[2] See also Matthew 24:21, 29; Mark 13:19, 24.
[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament.
[4] The Believer’s Bible Commentary, pg. 1708.
[5] The Bible Exposition Commentary. Matthew-Galatians, pg. 366.