When people hate us and treat us unkindly or cause us pain and grief just because we profess to follow Jesus, it can be overwhelming. I think part of what makes it so difficult is that we often find the greatest challenge from religious people who are convinced that, because we don’t see things the same way as they do, we are absolutely wrong, absolutely against the kingdom of God.
At the end of John 15, we see Jesus assuring His followers that the Helper, the Holy Spirit, was surely going to come and live within them. He would bring to mind all that Jesus had taught them and guide them in every step—even when the opposition was overwhelming. (John 15.26-27)
But (even though there is a chapter break there, which was added by well-intentioned editors to help us find things) Jesus underscores His intention in telling them these things:
I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 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. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.John 16.1-4
Jesus reminded His disciples that He was sending the Spirit so that they would not fall away and abandon the cause.(1) They would likely be ostracized from the center of religious and civic life (for indeed they were one and the same).(2a) People would even try to kill them with the firm belief that they were serving God by doing so.(2b)
Jesus goes to the root of the issue with these religiously zealous people. They did not really know the God they professed to serve. And because they did not know God the Father, they could not recognize the God the Son, Jesus.(3)
But Jesus was trying to equip them for what was ahead. He was preparing them for the hard days when those religious zealots would seem to be victorious over them.(4)
He reminded them that the Helper was coming. He was urging them not to let their fear pull them away from His call.
He told them to hold on.
Help is coming.
So you and I can take the same word, the same encouragement. Hold on. Help is coming. In fact, He is here, within the hearts of all who have believed on Jesus, bringing the very help we need.
It’s not always the way we want it. It’s not always the way we think it should be. But hold on. Help is coming.
I want to encourage you today. It you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, would you take a couple of minutes and listen to this song of encouragement?
Hold on, my friend. Help is coming.