Hold On, Help Is Coming

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.(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.(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.

The Hard Evidence of Love

Love is one of those words that is kind of abstract. You ask 100 people about what love is and you will likely get 70-80 different answers. I think that love, in its purest sense, is the determination to do what is best for the one loved.

But love is an idea, more than just a feeling, that has to take action. It has to make the choices that best serve the one loved.

In John 14, after Jesus introduces us to the wondrous promise that He will send the Holy Spirit, he makes some interesting comments.

You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I will come to you.” If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. (John 14.28-31)

When Jesus told the disciples that he was leaving for a while, it brought a significant fear to their hearts. Like a kid who is being told that his parents are leaving for a while, their immediate concern is for what is to become of them without Jesus there to lead, guide, and teach them. But he went on to promise His return in the person of the Holy Spirit.

He comes back to their reaction by trying to show them His own example. He said, “If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father.”(28) Why would they rejoice over that news? Because it’s what they knew, if they were at all thinking about His heart instead of their own, would bring Him joy—to be back in the presence of the Father.

Jesus is revealing what is going to come about so that their faith will be bolstered when it comes to pass.(29) He is aware that His time with them is coming to an end and there was not much opportunity left to give instruction. “The ruler of this world” that Jesus said was coming was surely the working of Satan to bring Jesus to the cross—despite the fact that he had no rightful claim upon Jesus as there was no sin in Him to condemn.(30)

Jesus explains that He is going to obey the Father’s plan out of love for the Father and for them… and us. He was going to do this hard work out of love.(31)

Jesus was determined to give evidence of His love for the Father and for all of us. He was determined to do what was best for us, to die the death we deserve that He most certainly did not.

It was going to be hard.

But Jesus was determined to produce the hard evidence of love.

What about us?

Will we do the hard things so that others may see the evidence of the love of Jesus in our lives?

As this chapter closes, I would challenge us all… “Rise, let us go from here.” But let us go out more concerned with the things that please His heart. Let us go out more concerned with the needs of others than our own.

Let us go out to give the hard evidence of love to those we meet.

The Mess of Disease and Disability

God loved us enough to step into our mess, but too much to leave us there.

In this lesson, we explore John 9 and the account of a man born blind that Jesus healed.

It’s so very important that we learn to SEE HIM. See him—not just as the Healer who can make everything better if He chooses to do so, but as your ultimate HEALING… that having Jesus even in your disease or disability is vastly better than being healed without him. And take comfort in the promise that the healing of these temporal issues will come in His time. SEE HIM as your healing.

But we must also BELIEVE HIM. Believe him—that, as much as you need relief or repair or remission or a reprieve, what you really need is HIM. Believe him—that he is what you most need and is freely provided.

In seeing him, in believing him, we grow to KNOW HIM. Know Him today… as your medicine, your therapy, your transplant, your very wholeness.

Jesus, God in the flesh, stepped into the mess of disease and disability and brought healing.