One of Jesus’ purpose in coming to this world was to die and “give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Once that was accomplished, He went back to the Father.
If you are going to follow Jesus you will experience times of doubt. It is important to know why we doubt. We doubt because it’s difficult to accept things we can’t understand.
The verse six of today’s Gospel reading as my devotion (John 16:5-11) says the disciples were filled with grief at the news of Jesus’ departure. This heavy talk gave the disciples a heavy heart.
Jesus saw their sorrow. Jesus loved them to the very end and identifies with what they’ll suffer (see John 16:2). He assured them He’ll be with them.
When the disciples first heard Jesus say, “It is to your advantage that I go away,” I’m sure their doubts got bigger.
It makes sense. The disciples couldn’t imagine anything better than having Christ physically with them. These men witnessed miracles, spent time with Jesus face-to-face, and were constantly under His teaching. How could the disciples make it without Jesus, let alone have it be an advantage to them for Him to leave?
How could Jesus leaving be good? We don’t understand ‘good’ because we constantly frame the concept of what is good from our own perspective.
What the disciples didn’t understand was that when God came as a human, He accepted human limitations. When Jesus became a man, He limited himself to being in one place at a time.
The Holy Spirit can be in all places at once. By sending God in Spirit, He would be with all believers simultaneously. His plan all along was not to be with them, but in them.
The disciples would watch Jesus preach, minister, and serve. But after Jesus was gone, they saw him (the Holy Spirit) moving through their hands, mouths, and lips as they trusted Him to work through them.
The Holy Spirit will be our Counselor, Advocate, Helper, Comforter, our Companion, and He’ll come alongside us to perform several unique ministries.
It took a heavenly perspective to realize that the short-term loss was nothing compared to the long-term advantage.
Similarly, we at various times may sense God doing things that are not in our plans. Maybe it violates our comfort, our happiness, or our 5-year-plan. In those times, we must ask God to reveal what He’s doing and see how it will be used for the better.
In this world we will have trouble and there will be lost—that’s a given. But remember: God turns short-term loss into long-term advantage. Jesus will always guide you to what is good!
Let Us Pray:
Father, I see afresh that the Holy Spirit leads my life just like Jesus led the apostles. I choose to listen to the words of Jesus through the voice of the Spirit – and obey them just as if Jesus were standing beside me today. By Your Holy Spirit, guide me so other people will know I belong to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!