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John 16:29-33



"I have overcome the world." = Attaining Victory!

Who said it?  Jesus.

Who won the victory?  Jesus.

Who then possesses the victory?  Jesus.

Is He willing to share?  Yes!  [not the glory, but the victory!]


The world is tough.  But in Jesus we don't have to be victims...we can be victors!  Trials can be overcome in triumph!  Jesus overcame this world, and wants to help us do the same.


"How are you today?"

"OK, I guess, UNDER the circumstances."

And God says, "Come out from 'under' there!  I want to share with you victory OVER circumstances.  I want to help you soar above the storms on wings like an eagle!"


Aren't you glad God shares with us?  He conquered death all by Himself...but He is the firstfruits of OUR resurrection.  He shares with us!  But still, that's someday in the future.  What about today? 

        Today, He shares with us overcoming victory.


I'm thankful that God shares:  One day...He will share all the riches of heaven.  But not before He shared Himself with us here in this world!

I'm thankful that God shares:  Not only in the sweet bye and bye, but in the nasty here and now!



1.     The Facts.

v. 33        "ye shall have tribulation"

        Not 'if' ... only 'when'

The only sure thing this world offers us is trouble.  We will have pain, both physical and emotional.  Fear and frustration / disappointment and discouragement / disease and death apply to all of us, Christian or not.

Job 5:7
Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Job 14:1
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Isaiah 8:22
And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish...
Acts 14:22
...exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

When you hear that 'preacher' on TV say that God wants to bless you with a trouble free life you can know two things about him:  He has a semi-functioning head and a closed Bible.


The truth:  If getting saved is the end of your troubles it's the front end!  because NOW you have an all new set of troubles.  Now, if you live Godly in Christ Jesus you shall suffer persecution.  Now you are the devil's enemy!


Becoming a born-again Christian doesn't exempt you from trouble...but it does mean you have a new Father/Friend to walk the road of trials with you and help you be an overcomer in His name - claiming HIS victory so you don't have to live 'under the circumstances!'



1.     The Facts.


2.     The Forms.

James 1:2
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [trials]

'Divers' comes from the Greek meaning 'multi-colored'.

        Trials come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and degrees.  My trials are not like yours and yours are not like mine.


James was writing to this group of Jews who were scattered because of trials of persecution.


Maybe your trial is financial / physical / relational / emotional

        And it could be of your own making thru bad choices.  If we conduct our finances in ways contrary to what God teaches we will suffer for it.  If we put things into our bodies that don't belong, it will speed our demise.  If we conduct our marriage differently than God has commanded we shouldn't wonder why it falls apart.  If our mind is focused on just about anything other than on the things God says to think on we shouldn't be surprised when our emotions go haywire.

        We've all started our own business.  What business?  We're all in manufacturing.  Manufacturing what?  Our own misery!


3 categories of trials:

  • A trial from God. [test]

Yes, He loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.  He wants something better for us.  Yes, He cares about our happiness ... but He cares much more about our holiness, which of course will lead us to real contentment anyway. 

And so, He will allow a trial to mold us and shape us.  He will put us on the fire to purify us. He will put us on the rack to stretch us. He wants us to live by faith ... but a faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.

ill.--God called Abraham to live by faith, and then tested him.  "Sacrifice your promised son."  Abe passed the test, and his faith actually grew because of it.  Did God learn something new about Abraham that day?  No.  Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurred to God?  It was a test for Abraham's sake, not for God's assurance.


Trials can make us better...but they can also make us bitter.  Don't make the mistake of wasting a good trial by turning against the God who is watching to see how you fare in His test!


Some fall out of church when they have trials.  "You don't know what I'm going through!" they say.

    If ever we need to be in church it is while enduring a trial!


"Why go to church, it doesn't do any good...just look at the trouble in my life!" 

    This is a person who says they tried going God's way, and it didn't make their life wonderful. What are we implying when we say this?  That the only reason we go to church is so things will go well?

[why tithe, it doesn't do any good / why pray?]


Why SHOULD we do these things?  Because God is worthy!  Not for personal gain.

    Anyone can praise God on the mountaintop ... but God is watching us in the valley ... and that's where we pass or fail the test!


Don't let the wind of trouble blow you away from God, but rather blow you into the arms of God!  In His arms is the strength of victory, and that is where true peace is found.


v. 33    'peace' is the opposite of tribulation


A second category of trial:

  • A trial from Satan.

1 Thessalonians 2:18
Wherefore we would have come unto you...but Satan hindered us.

Maybe it was illness ... maybe it was one of the times that a crowd stoned him ... maybe his chariot ran out of gas!


2 Corinthians 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Now here's the difference: 

God tests us to bring out the best.  Satan tempts us to bring out the worst!

God wants to help us stand, Satan wants to make us stumble.

God means it for our maturity and Satan means it for our misery.


If you never meet up with Satan on the road of life, it may be because you're both traveling in the same direction!


A third category of trial:

  • A trial of the curse.

This world is cursed because of sin, and bad things happen.  It may not be your own personal sin.  Here on Earth, things go bad, they break, and Murphy's law is tattooed on ALL of our foreheads!


ill.--I look forward to the Millennium, the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth.  We who are saved will return from heaven with Him, and it is then that we will see this world the way God meant for it to be.  He will set things right and the curse of nature will be lifted!


ill.—train derailment

        When you look at this world you aren't seeing it the way God intended it to be, you're seeing what happened after man wrecked it with his sin! 


Sometimes trials can't be blamed on God or Satan, it's just a tribute to the curse on this present world.


ill.--A plot of weeds never turns into a flower garden, but a flower garden left alone will turn to a plot of weeds!  It's the 2nd law of thermodynamics...REAL science...devolution!


Before Adam sinned his body never aged. Someday we will have glorified bodies!

        When I ride my bike 25 miles and wake up sore the next day, I don't ask God what test He is giving me, or blame the devil...I know it's just a fact of life in a sin-cursed body.


Whatever form your trial takes, we have this promise from God, that He has overcome this world.  He has gained the victory, and wants to share!


Even if your trial is of your own making, you can give your mistakes to God and allow Him to share with you the power to overcome!  And He will even use such negatives to develop a pretty picture!


ill.--Imagine with me at breakfast time if your spouse said, close your eyes and open your mouth, and then served you a big spoonful of flour.  What would you do?  You'd spit it out!

[Crisco / baking soda / swig of buttermilk - if saved, you'd spit it out.  Some of you drink that nasty stuff.  You may be saved, but you're not right with God!]

        We all hate these nasty ingredients by themselves, but mix it all together and put it in the oven you can have some great biscuits!

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God has overcome the world, the devil, and the curse of sin.  And his recipe of overcoming power He wants to share with you!  Back to...

James 1:2
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

'Fall into' comes from the Greek parapinto meaning a sudden fall that is unexpected.  You are expecting to put your foot down on solid ground and it turns out to be a gopher hole.  It's the same word used in the parable of the good Samaritan when it says the man he helped 'fell' among thieves.  Things were going great and then a sudden change of luck.

        Many times the trials of life come upon us suddenly like a storm that comes out of nowhere.  One phone call and everything in your world changes.  A car runs a red light and changes your life forever.


Some today aren't really hearing this message because you are thinking, this isn't for me.  I'm doing fine.  My blood pressure is down, my savings is up.  [eat, drink, and be merry!]

        Well, the best time to prepare for trials is not in the midst of them, but before they happen, as they surely will.



1.     The Facts.

2.     The Forms.

3.     The Fruit.

If God could stop all our trials [and He could] why doesn't He?  Nothing happens that He hasn't allowed.  But why?


  • For our enjoyment.

Hear me out.  James 1:2 says count it all joy when you have trials.  That's a tall order, and will require faith.  Only God can make this plan work!

You see, we say, "What can't be cured, must be endured."

God says, "What can't be cured, should be enjoyed."

    He's not telling us to 'fake it until we make it.'  He wants us to share in His World-Overcoming Power!  This is supernatural in nature!  This brings God great glory!


  • For our endurance.

James 1:3
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

'Patience' = to bear up under = endurance.


Have you ever said, Lord, I wish I were a stronger Christian / had more faith / was more steadfast and dedicated

    Good news:  God's gonna send you to the gym.  He's gonna work you out.  There's gonna be pain.  There's gonna be gain!


ill.--muscles are built under stress and pressure.  Tissue actually tears and more is grown in its place. 

    God will use trials to exercise our character and help us grow more of it!  You see, we don't pray for healing until we need it.  We don't strive for victory until we find ourselves in a battle.  It's once we realize we are in a race that we seek some endurance.


  • For our enlargement.

James 1:4
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

'perfect' = mature.  And God uses trials to mature us to something more than we were.

1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

ill.--a caterpillar is in its cocoon, and metamorphosis has taken place.  You see it struggling to emerge, so you use your hands to help it make its way out.  It will not fly...it will die.  It needs the struggle to make it strong enough to fly.

    I tend to depend on God more when I'm struggling with something, how about you?  It is there He is maturing us, and strengthening us.


  • For our enrichment.

v. 4      'entire' is from the Greek 'holoclaros', which is where we get the word 'holograph.'  It's a 3D, 360 degree depiction of an object.  It's the entire package.  I believe God is saying He wants to make us well rounded Christians.  Don't you want the whole package God intends for your life?  Let Him share with you His overcoming victory!

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