InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Read | John 16:33
1“These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2“They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. 3“These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. 4“But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
The Holy Spirit Promised
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“But 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 He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Foretold
16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.” 17Some of His disciples then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” 18So they were saying, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about.” 19Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, “Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘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, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. 21“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. 22“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
23“In that day you will not question Me about anything Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26“In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. 28“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.” 29His disciples said, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. 30“Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.” 31Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The tumultuous times in which we live challenge our sense of security and well-being. In a world filled with violence, injustice, financial instability, and natural disasters, how can we live in undisturbed safety? Jesus’ words to His disciples seem contradictory—peace and tribulation just don’t go together.
This makes no sense unless we realize that Christ’s peace is not the same as the world’s (John 14:27: 27“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. ). The average person thinks tranquility will come with an outward change in their circumstances: ‘When I have a better job or more money, then I will be content. Or, If a particular person in my life changes, then I will feel at ease.’ But Christ offers a relationship with the Father that fills our hearts with satisfied contentment, no matter what the external conditions may be.
We need to understand that Christ’s offer of peace came, not when everything was going well, but just hours before His disciples’ world fell apart. All their hopes and dreams were dashed when the Messiah hung on the cross. Although they didn’t realize it, Jesus offered them exactly what they would need to cope with the trouble that lay ahead. In the same way, He gives us quiet confidence which anchors our souls in stressful times.
We can never arrange all circumstances so that we feel safe and secure. The way to overcome the world isn’t by removing difficulties from one’s life. Instead, victory comes from walking through troubles with quiet confidence in God’s sovereignty and divine purpose for everything He allows.