John 14:25-26 NASB
“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
The Holy Spirit
Jesus, prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion, had a long conversation with his disciples about what was soon to take place. And, then he comforted them with the knowledge that, although he was leaving them, he would not leave them comfortless. He would send his Holy Spirit to live within them.
Now, when we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine faith, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within us. He is God within us; Christ within us. For, although Jesus died on that cross, he was resurrected from the dead, and because he lives within us, we too can live in him and to him and to his righteousness.
The Holy Spirit within us, thus, empowers and strengthens us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. He gently nudges us when we are going the wrong direction, and he leads us in the right way we should go. He counsels us and helps us when we need to know what to do. And, he reminds us of what we know of Jesus and have read in the Bible when we need to hear those words.
And, he is always with us and in us 24/7, so we are never alone or without resources or without help and guidance or the strength to resist Satan, to flee temptation and to draw near to God. He encourages us, too, when we are weak or when Satan is beating us down. Then, the Lord lifts us up, and he gives us the strength and courage to press ahead and to not be afraid.
John 14:27-29 NASB
“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. You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.”
His Peace He Gives
I am most certain that Jesus’ disciples did not fully comprehend what he was telling them. So, they probably were confused, distraught, and fearful about what was going to happen to them. After all, their Lord had been with them for the past 3 years. They had given up everything to follow Him. So, I am quite certain that, as they listened to Jesus’ words, that their minds were racing ahead with all kinds of questions to ask him.
Jesus, knowing their concerns, thus comforted them with these words he spoke here. And, he does that with us, too, for we don’t understand everything, either, and some things can be confusing for us in this life, and we may have questions, too, that we would like to have answered.
For, life can get really hard sometimes, you know? Sometimes when it rains it pours, and we can get overwhelmed by it all. At times, I know for myself, when the tears are streaming down my cheeks, all I can say is “Help!” And, that is enough! For, my Lord knows exactly what I need at that moment.
Do you realize how often in scripture God/Jesus says something like “Don’t fret!” or “Don’t be afraid!” or “Fear not!”? I am certain someone has counted. I just know it is a bunch of times. For, we as humans have a tendency to fear what we don’t understand, so he has to keep reminding us to not fear but to trust Him.
When We Trust Him
When we trust the Lord with our life circumstances, then he fills us with his peace. His peace, though, is not like the peace the world talks about. They talk about a peace that is absent of conflict and where we are all the same and we all think alike and act alike, and so we all get along with each other.
But, Jesus said he did not come to bring that kind of peace, but a sword, and to turn family members against each other. But, the Sword is the Word of God, and when we believe God’s Word, and we act on what we believe, we will have family, friends and even others who call themselves Christians who will turn against us and even hate us and who will mistreat us.
So, God doesn’t promise us absence of conflict or that we will be in agreement with everyone, because he wants us to be likeminded with him, not with the world. And, he does not want us ever to compromise with the world in order to make peace with other humans.
The kind of peace God gives us is peace with him, and an inward peace that can be calm and assured that God is in control even when the world around us is in utter chaos, or even when all looks hopeless with no way out. His peace is not absence of conflict, but it is conflict resolution. And, it is not compromise of faith, but it is confident assurance of what we say we believe in.
John 14:30-31 NASB
“I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.”
God, Our Refuge!
Jesus prepared the hearts and minds of his disciples now for his death. Judas, his former disciple, but now betrayer, whose heart was now filled with Satan, had conspired with our Lord’s enemies to arrange for his arrest, and ultimately for his death. And, now what had been plotted was about to unfold.
Yet, Satan had no power over Jesus Christ. He was only able to do what he did because God allowed it, and he allowed it for his purposes. For, this was God’s plan from the beginning of time for the salvation of human souls. Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, would become the sacrifice for our sins so that we could be forgiven and be delivered from our slavery to sin and have the hope of eternal life with God.
Jesus, as well, prepared our hearts and minds for our death, first for our death to sin and living to righteousness, and then that one day we would die in him and would be with him forever.
But, he also prepared us for the possibility that some of us might be martyred for our faith in Him, and that we would be hated and persecuted, falsely accused, mistreated, and perhaps even be put into prison because of our testimonies for Jesus Christ and for his gospel.
But, Satan has no power over us, either. He can only do to us what God allows, and he allows for his purposes. We may not understand it all, but faith in Jesus Christ accepts his sovereignty over all things, and it understands that we are not going to comprehend everything about God in this life.
And, that is where faith comes into play, for it trusts even when it does not see why or how or when or what or even who. It keeps hoping and believing even when the light at the end of the tunnel is not in view. It keeps loving and forgiving, too, and it even loves when hate is what is returned.
Although we don’t always see the “big picture,” we trust God, and so we rest in Him, and we keep on doing what he says, believing that he will be glorified through it all.
I Take Refuge
An Original Work / September 1, 2018
Based off Psalm 71
O, Lord, I take refuge in You,
For You are my God.
Turn Your ear now to me.
Be my Rock and Fortress
To which I do go.
Deliver me, God. You’re my hope.
My lips now give praise to You, God.
I always have hope,
Since You saved me from sin.
My enemies speak evil
‘gainst me, O God.
Oh, help me, O Lord, rescue me.
The path of my life has been hard.
For, I have had troubles
Too many to bear.
But, You will increase honor,
Your faithfulness, Lord, comforts me.
Thursday, September 6, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for these encouraging words. May they bring much hope and healing to our hearts. Amen!