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“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith.” — John 16:1, New Living Translation
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” — John 16:13, NLT
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33, NLT
Today’s Reading: John 16
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John 16 completes the last words of Jesus’ farewell message, which He had begun in John 13. In His words, Jesus focuses on encouraging His disciples and preparing them for what to expect — both in the coming days with His betrayal, death and resurrection and after He leaves earth to be with the Father in Heaven.
Think of having a GPS. You can clearly see where you are going, what to expect, your different options to get there and how long the route will take. Jesus’ message is similar to a GPS for His followers. Jesus did not want them to be in the dark. He tells His disciples that He does not want them to fall away, so He took time to explain to them what to expect. He also told them what would be next so they could experience peace during times of trouble.
Jesus also knew that His departure would cause His followers to experience real sadness and deep grief. If you have ever lost a loved one, you know the void that you feel. You know the sadness and grief. You feel the loss when you see that empty chair. You miss all the activities you did together.
Jesus’ disciples must have felt similar emotions and heartache. The disciples had lived and traveled with Him. They had seen Him perform great wonders. They loved His teaching, and they experienced His grace, goodness and truth. Jesus called them “friends.”
Thank God, He did not leave them in the dark too. He promised them “something better” — the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would come and guide them. Unlike our loved ones who cannot promise a replacement of themselves, Jesus did. And if you have chosen to follow Jesus, the same promise is for you today too.
I love the words by C.S Lewis: “Life with God is not immunity from difficulties but peace in difficulties.” Jesus promises us that following Him is not easy. But Jesus promises you His peace through it all and His presence through the Holy Spirit.
What difference does it make for you to know what to expect, like when you are attending an event?
In what areas of your life do you need the peace of Jesus?
Jesus, thank You that You did not leave me in the dark. Thank You that I can fully know what to expect as I desire to follow Your ways. Thank you for assuring me peace amidst trouble, and please Lord help me each day.
Who is the Holy Spirit and what does He do? Explore more about Jesus’ promise about the Holy Spirit here.
Gracious Chifamuna serves with Digital Strategies with Cru in South Africa. She is a widow with four young kids and has started a ministry to help other grieving widows.
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