Read John 16:1-15
Thinking about the life and claims of Jesus immediately produces obstacles and questions to faith. Understandably so, the message of the gospel is mind-blowing. It is helpful to realize that the disciples that lived with Jesus for three years struggled with doubt. These men witnessed miracles, spent time with Jesus face-to-face, and were constantly under His teaching. Yet, they doubted.
In verse six of this passage John says they were filled with grief at the news of Jesus’ departure. Jesus tells His followers the coming of the Holy Spirit will guide, comfort and prove the truth of Jesus. Their response was grief and doubt.
Today, in our world, our minds and hearts operate in a similar way. We hear the truth of Jesus and His gracious gospel, and we doubt. It’s important to realize why we doubt. We assume that if we could have only been there and seen, or heard Jesus in the flesh, life and faith would be totally different. This assumption, in my opinion, is highly doubtful. Time and space are not our problem. The disciples lived in the time of Jesus and were in His space. And, they doubted! We don’t share the physical front row seat the disciples experienced, but we do share the same faith problems. The following verse tells us why. Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.” (v. 7)
If you are going to follow Jesus you will experience times of doubt. We doubt because it’s difficult to accept things we can’t understand. How could Jesus leaving be good? We don’t understand ‘good’ because we constantly use our own perspective to decide what is good. We many times claim the right to decide what it best for us – but not out loud! No one would ever say they know better than God, but doubt is the same. It is just dressed differently.
But, Hope can overrule doubt by God’s grace. When you accept Jesus as Savior from the penalty of sin and Lord of your life, He promises the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to guide you in truth about righteousness. Jesus will always guide you to what is good. This is where our faith steps in. Being able to allow the Holy Spirit to speak and then for you to line up with Him is where “rubber meets the road.” Being able to say, “God I trust You,” in the most difficult of situations.
Thank you Jesus for giving Your Holy Spirit to keep me from falling away. Please make me sensitive to the destructive nature of sin. By Your Holy Spirit, guide me so other people will know I belong to You.