1. Succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty).2. Defeat (an opponent); prevail: "they overcame the guards"; "we shall overcome".
I've been thinking about this word the past few days. One of my dear friend's favorite bible verses is John 16:33, in which Jesus states, "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.” Upon reflecting on this verse I begin to realize all of the things that I have overcome in my own life through my faith in Christ Jesus. Understanding this fully would require understanding my testimony, something I will put on here soon.
There's a lot going on in and around this verse though. Before this verse Jesus was talking with His disciples telling them that “in a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,” referring to His death, resurrection, and then His return to the Father. He says, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace." We are to rest assured knowing that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross bearing our sins, three days later was raised from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and is ultimately going to make His return. He's got everything under control.
Jesus goes on to say "in this world you will have trouble." While we are living here in the world at this time, we are going to have trouble. Life's not going to be easy. We're going to have problems. Big problems. Small problems. Difficulties. Worries. Pain. Sufferings.
"But take heart." Gain courage!
"For I have overcome the world." Jesus Christ the Son of God stepped down from His Heavenly Throne, humbling Himself in our likeness, living a tempted but sinless life, to bear our punishment, to overcome the world.
The plan to keep us away from God was made long ago in the Garden of Eden, foreseeing this God made His plans to reconcile His creation to Him out of love, "greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) It was in the moment that Jesus hung from the cross, suffering from the weight of our sins, that He was closest to the race of man. Likewise, it is often in our sufferings that we are closest to God. We can truly take heart and find comfort as believers knowing that we have the Spirit of God, a spirit of power and great authority. It is with the Spirit through Jesus Christ that we, too, may overcome the world and all of it's troubles.