"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).
This is one of those verses where Jesus is saying, "I have some good news...and some bad news!" In this case, the two types of "news" are reversed. First: the bad news: "In this world you will have trouble." This is a promise. The word translated "trouble" is the Greek word "thlipsis". It is usually translated "tribulation". It carries a bit stronger idea than "trouble".
Life has its ups and downs. Sometimes the ups are more frequent than the downs. Most of us would script our lives this way. Sometimes the downs are more frequent than the ups. Jesus made the above statement as he was entering into a serious time of what we would consider "downs". He was about to be betrayed, beaten, mocked, whipped, and crucified. Yet...he tells the disciples to "take heart". Looking ahead to the resurrection, Jesus declares "I have overcome the world."
How is your life going? Are you in a time of "ups"? Be grateful. Are you in a time of "thlipsis"? Jesus is saying to you today, "Take heart!" Eventually, and hopefully soon, all will be well. How about putting a little heart shape on your hand today. When you are feeling down, remind yourself to "take heart". Jesus is with you. He has overcome. In him, so will you.