Scripture Reading: John 16:1-4
“But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.” (John 16:4)
Jesus was preparing His disciples for the persecution they would face after His death: “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. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor Me” (vs. 2,3). Jesus was presenting the reality that being a disciple of Jesus may bring persecution and opposition from others.
Most of us will never face the kind of persecution the early followers of Christ faced. However, we have brothers and sisters around the world who do. Even today many are persecuted and even martyred for their faith. We must not forget to pray for these persecuted believers.
While we may not face this kind of persecution, we will still face times of trouble, pain, and trial. We will face opposition from our enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus wants us to be prepared. He said: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b). Jesus is preparing us to face tribulation.
Christians are not exempt from the suffering that exists in this fallen world. We will face it! We will experience opposition and we will be attacked by the evil one. However, when we are, we must remember Jesus’ words of hope and comfort. He is with us in our times of suffering and He will deliver us from them. We must remember His words of encouragement and direction. He will give us the strength to face these times and He will give us guidance through them.
Jesus said these words to His disciples in the context of His teaching on the Holy Spirit: “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me” (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit is within us and He will remind us of the words and works of Jesus. When we face times of trial and opposition, we must be still, listen, and obey what He says to us.
Lord Jesus, You have spoken words to encourage me, to give me hope, to prepare me for the trials I will face, and to give me direction. You sent Your Holy Spirit to live within me to remind me of Your words and to comfort me. May I be still and listen to Him when He speaks.
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