Watch out! There are rough times ahead!
John 16:1-3 (MSG) I’ve told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead. They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he’s doing God a favor. They will do these things because they never really understood the Father. I’ve told you these things so that when the time comes and they start in on you, you’ll be well-warned and ready for them.
In the 16th chapter of John, Jesus is preparing the disciples for the day when He will return to the Father. Jesus knows that the disciples’ hearts are troubled because He’s going away (v. 5). Jesus assures them that when he leaves, he will not leave them high-and-dry. He will send them a Helper…but the Helper can only come if Jesus goes. When the Helper (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will not only help the believer but the non-believer as well. The Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth. In this chapter, Jesus had so much more to say to his disciples but they weren’t ready to hear it. It was too much for them to handle at that moment.
Isn’t that an awesome thought? God cares so much about us that He gives us only what we can handle – one thing at a time.
In our lives when things get chaotic, it’s easy to let stress overwhelm us. But don’t let it. Psalm 48:14 (NASB) ensures “God is our God forever and ever and he will guide our paths until death.” He’s got our lives, and each and every circumstance in the palm of His hand. God will guide us through the Holy Spirit living inside of us. It is the Spirit who leads us in ALL truth.
Jesus spoke these words in John 16 over 2,000 years ago to His disciples and they are still true for us today. Isn’t this truth comforting?
John 16:33 (MSG) I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world
you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.
I am so thankful to know that Jesus tells us we can have deep peace by trusting him. There’s one more thing to notice about this verse…Jesus tells his disciples they would have trouble too. “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.” GREAT… just when we thought it was safe to go outside. But catch the last few words of verse 33… “But take heart! I h have conquered the world!” Jesus knew his time was coming soon. He knew he was going to die, but death would not hold Him. He would defeat death and the grave and rise again, conquering our sin once and for all.
So be brave dear friends. Jesus has “…told you these things to keep you from giving up.” Hold on to Jesus with everything in you! Dig into His word to find His promises for your situation and stand on them! You can do this! The Holy Spirit is living inside you…guiding you…giving you strength!
What circumstance do you have in your life right now that you need to be brave and stand firm? Are you giving up or are you relying on the Holy Spirit to guide you in all truth?