“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus’s words to his disciples was the climax of what he spoke to them on the night in which he was betrayed and just before his “high priestly prayer” (John 17). His overcoming or conquering (NRSV) of the world took place through his death and resurrection.
Life is sure to have its difficulties, both in terms of following the Lord, as Jesus made clear that night to his disciples, and simply in terms of the troubles we all face in the daily bumps we encounter, and in the potentially life-changing issues we run up against.
In all of this we have to ask ourselves where our confidence lies. Yes, we want to make good decisions, and we don’t want to be foolhardy. We want to live in the wisdom God offers, for facing the immediate difficulties, and for living well and growing in the long term. But in some ways we will fail. And along the way we may have failed significantly. Whether or not that’s the case, our confidence surely does not at all lie in ourselves, but in the one who alone can make us confident and able to go on and do well in that one’s eyes, no matter what.
And so let us hope in the Lord so as to gain new strength (Isaiah 40:31) to continue on, and hopefully do well in the Lord’s eyes, together in God’s will and work in Jesus in the world.