You Will Have Tribulation



John 16:33 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.


History Behind The Verse

It is important to note whom Jesus is speaking to in this verse.  In this chapter of John, Jesus is having a loving conversation with His disciples. He deeply cares for them and their welfare.  Jesus knows that when His disciples see Him tortured and killed they will feel very confused.  Jesus is aware of what is about to occur.  Because His disciples are so dependent on Him leading them,  they will scatter like frightened sheep when they witness His capture. To prepare them, Jesus is taking some time to reassure them.  He is stressing to His disciples of God’s (and our) ultimate victory in the endJesus knows that He is within hours of being tortured and killed, but He is more concerned about His friends’ reaction to His leaving than to His own pain. This is so amazing! Jesus loves His disciples so very much!! He knows that within a few short hours these men will witness a horrible act of violence against their leader and companion. Jesus is speaking these words to them so that when this event does take place they can reflect back on His words and feel comfort.

Just as these men in the book of John were disciples, we are also Jesus’ disciples today.  The words that were spoken in this verse are just as relevant to us as they were the original group of 12.  We are Jesus’ disciples!  We will sometimes be tempted to run!  We mustn’t! We are His apostles!!!! We will sometimes feel like we are defeated, but we are NOT!!

What exactly is a disciple?


The original word in the New Testament wasn’t the word disciple, it was the word mathetes.

mathétés: a disciple

Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Short Definition: a learner, disciple, pupil
Definition: a learner, disciple, pupil.

mathētḗs (from math-, the “mental effort needed to think something through”) – properly, a learner; a disciple, a follower of Christ who learns the doctrines of Scripture and the lifestyle they require; someone catechized with proper instruction from the Bible with its necessary follow-through (life-applications).

What is an apostle? 

After Jesus was crucified, the disciples became known as apostles.

The word “disciple” refers to a learner or follower. The word “apostle” means “one who is sent out.” While Jesus was on earth, His twelve followers were called disciples. The twelve disciples followed Jesus Christ, learned from Him, and were trained by Him. After His resurrection and ascension, Jesus sent the disciples out to be His witnesses. They were then referred to as the twelve apostles.

What was the relationship like between Jesus and His disciples?

One thing we have learned from Jesus (the GREATEST teacher of all time) is this:

There can be no discipleship without relationship.

Jesus spent much of His time building a relationship with His disciples.

He truly desired a close, loving relationship with these men.

He desires the same with each of us today!!!


Key Word:


Tribulation– noun

unhappiness, pain, or suffering

: an experience that causes someone to suffer


Connection to Us

It is important to note that the verse does not say that God will bring tribulation upon us, but it says that we will have it.  We live in a fallen world.  It is not God’s will for us to experience suffering, but unhappiness and pain are common elements that surround sin.  We live in a world full of sin and evil.  Suffering, pain, and unhappiness are companions with sin and evil.  Sometimes we will make the choice to choose to walk down a path that leads us into sin.  When we do this we are ultimately inviting suffering into our life! Unfortunately not all of the pain that we encounter is because of our own personal sin.  Sometimes our tribulation is a direct response to the overall evil that TEMPORARILY exists here on earth not as an effect of our own actions.

I have so many people in my life who are hurting as a direct result of the overall evil in our world:  a dear friend who lost her beloved daughter way too young, a friend who is battling cancer, and yet another friend who recently lost her battle to cancer.  I can only imagine how easy it is during pain like this to blame and question God.  Our Heavenly Father wants us to know that He is not behind our pain!  He is SO against us feeling pain that He actually came to our rescue. He sent Jesus,  His only son, to earth to fight the evil that causes our pain.  We need to always remember that JESUS WON THE BATTLE!!!!  The pain that we feel on earth is temporary, and The devil knows this.  He knows he lost. He knows that his time of influence will soon be over, but he is determined to grieve us as much as possible until that day comes. The pain we feel, may be very extreme at times, but it is temporary!  We can find comfort in that.

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