An African proverb claims, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” We love smooth seas and sunny days, and if we had our way there’d be no storms, no clouds, no sorrows, and no losses. But Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:22, NKJV), so we’d better learn to be good sailors.
But in that verse – John 16:33 – Jesus didn’t close His mouth and stop talking at the end of that phrase. There’s not a period after the word “tribulation.” In my Bible, there’s a semicolon: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Praise God for that semicolon! All our losses are temporary; all our blessings are permanent. In the power of Christ, we are more than conquerors. Nothing can separate us from His love. All things work together for good. Those who wait upon Him will renew their strength, and we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
Here’s the full quote from John 16:33: “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.”
Before the word “tribulation” is “peace” and after the word “tribulation” is “cheer.” Jesus Himself is the opening and closing: “I have spoken” and “I have overcome.” And we are “in Him!”