Although we are plagued by doubt at times, and confused by the mysteries of how God is working, I believe that you can place your confidence in Jesus Christ. Following are some thoughts from John 16:16-33 that bring me great confidence.
When You Don’t Understand Everything, you can still have confidence in Christ (John 16:16-19). It is surprising that the disciples did not understand the things Jesus told them. They had spent so much time with him, but yet still found themselves confounded at some of the things he said to them. It’s hard to put ourselves in their shoes in this matter. We have the opportunity to ruminate over his teachings, we know the end of the story, we can compare and contrast the four biographies of Jesus. Even so, we do not understand everything. If the disciples were confused, and they were walking with Jesus, then it is no surprise that we not understand everything! It is true that we should study to know all we can, but we can never let failure to understand keep us from following. There are mysteries, but this does not shake confidence!
When The World Opposes You, still be confident in Jesus Christ (John 16:20-22)! As Jesus dies on the cross the world rejoices. What brutality was evident on that day as Jesus died in a humiliating way. Even as He prayed for them … his blood offering cleansing to all humanity before and after … they tortured and killed him. The world does not understand Jesus, His Kingdom, nor can they. As cynicism toward Christianity is growing, we must not be discouraged. We praise God while World does not even believe in Him. We cannot expect nor seek approval from the world, our courage and confidence is in Christ alone. With or without the approval of men.
When You Wonder If God Cares About You, still cling in confidence to Him (John 16:25-28). Ever wonder if God really cares about us? I believe most do. At funerals one might hear the old hymn, ‘Does Jesus Care, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief’. This is not a funeral message, it is a reminder for each day. The greatest witness of the love of God for us is death of Christ on the cross. We can have confidence in His love because it is not based on our performance of good works. Our confidence is in his steady and constant love.
When You Face Your Own Failures, still place your confidence in Him (John 16:31-32). The disciples would desert him at his darkest hour. They fall asleep while he prays deeply as he faces the cross. Even though Jesus was never alone because the Father was with him, it hurt him that his dearest friends abandoned him when he needed them. How many times have we left Jesus, abandoned Him? When temptation grew strong … when our will began to be more important in our heart than His … when our love for the world called out to us and we answered. Jesus is hurt when we leave Him to follow our own way, but he welcomes our return. Why does it hurt Jesus? It is a “personal relationship” with Christ. He cares for you deeply. When you fail your friend Jesus, put your confidence back into His love. He will restore you and strengthen you, welcoming you back in grace.
When You Face The Struggles of Life, place your confidence in Jesus (John 16:33). Jesus knew there would be struggles and hardships. He never promised we would be free from sorrow. These troubles do not shake our confidence, but strengthen it. Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world and all of it’s pain. You can be confident in Jesus because of the resurrection (John 16:16) – He Lives! You can be confident in Jesus because of the ascension (John 16:28) – He reigns! He Has Overcome. Barclay says, “Soon they were going to see that the world could do its worst to Jesus and still not defeat him….The victory which Jesus would win, would be theirs also. There is both a courage and a conquest of the cross.”
Only in Christ can we face these things and experience joy and peace … in his presence and promises.
Thanks for reading. Your thoughts are welcomed.