“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
The opening verses of John 14 are very often read at a funeral. It is a time when people are upset and somewhat disoriented. So, these verses truly bring comfort, especially when the person was a believer and those left behind also believe. But Jesus does go on in this discourse to explain that the truth that underlies those words of comfort. Not only is there great and sure hope for the grieving people and the person who has died but also for all of us who believe are promised the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The disciples were extremely anxious. They had been with Jesus for three years, most likely every day. Now he is telling them he is going to leave them. What will they do? Who will lead them? What about the hopes and dreams they all had with Jesus leading the way?
Jesus assures them, that he would not leave them alone in all this trouble. He would send another teacher, helper, and counselor. The Holy Spirit of God would come to live in their hearts! He would produce in them a beautiful array of spiritual fruit, including a highly prized and needed peace (Gal. 5:22-23). They would become blessed as peacemakers, just as Jesus had taught them earlier (Matt. 5:9).
Do you have the Lord’s peace in your heart? Are you confident that his comforting care is with you in any conflict? Do you know that in his strength you can be victorious in every struggle and trial? The Bible shows that Jesus’ followers did, when the Spirit was poured out on them (Acts 2:1-4). Remember Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. We too have the Holy Spirit residing within.
Lord make aware daily of the presence of your Holy Spirit in my life. Help me to rest in you and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me daily into all truth so I might live a confident and pleasing life for Jesus. Amen.