November 23, 2022
We see our Savior's love in that He hasn't left us unprepared. Jesus has given us all we need for peace and to glorify Him in a world where, more often than not, ours isn't the popular position and where sin and its consequences remain.
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
1 I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
16 A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
25 I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 1 16:27 Some manuscripts from the Father 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
We will have trouble in this world.
There is no getting around the fact that Jesus' disciples—first century and 21st century alike—will have trouble in this world (John 15:18-22, 16:2, 16:33). Indeed, the follower of Christ who, from time to time, does not experience the scorn of culture for Christ's sake, would do well to question whether he or she is, in fact, living as an ambassador for Christ (2 Timothy 3:12; Ephesians 6:20; James 4:4).
Do you have healthy expectations?
These troubles, nonetheless, taken as Christ directed us, give occasion to experience their blessedness (though they momentarily may not feel like a blessing) and ultimately glorify God (Matthew 5:10; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 8:18; 1 Peter 5:10).
In our affluent society, it is easy to expect ease and comfort. With this incorrect expectation in mind, I am, like my first-century pre-resurrection brethren, at times, surprised by troubles that are attendant to life in a broken world—illness, job loss, broken relationships, and, finally, death. How then should we keep from being surprised? What provision did our Savior leave us to keep us from being caught off guard? How can we experience peace in trials?
God has preserved and given us His Word for our daily edification and sanctification (2 Timothy 3:16-17). At salvation, God gives each of us the Holy Spirit, who brings God's Word to mind and convinces us of its veracity (John 14:16-17, 16:13). Jesus has promised us that if we ask anything according to God's will—i.e., His revealed will in Scripture—our prayers will be answered (John 16:23; 1 John 5:14-15).
We've also been given the gift of a community of believers—the members of the body of Christ, and Jesus' intent for us is that we would encourage each other in His Word as we await His return, and even more so in the midst of various trials (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Today, are you experiencing the peace that is there to be had?
1. What determines your expectations—of ease or trial—for your brief time this side of eternity? Is it God's Word or the world?
2. How much of your worldview is shaped by Scripture? In what areas of your life do you take your cues from culture, including celebrities, politicians, and political commentators?
3. Do you spend time meditating on Scripture and memorizing it so that it is there, written on your heart, for the Holy Spirit to bring to mind? Why or why not?
4. What disciplines do you have in place to help ensure that your prayers are according to God's will and not merely an exercise in self-indulgence?
5. Do you counsel, encourage, and admonish other Christians according to Scripture? Do you invite other Christians to likewise counsel, encourage, and admonish you?