“I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome this world.” (John 16:7, 33)
Jesus is concluding His final teaching to His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He would face crucifixion. Here in John 16, Jesus speaks of the advantage of His death to the disciples with the gift of the Holy Spirit and that because of God’s power and presence in their lives, their deep sorrow would turn to joy and offer peace. Jesus came in one body and would soon depart from this earth to return to His Father. Because of His departure, the Holy Spirit would come and reside in many. The gift of His transformative Spirit changed the disciples from unschooled men to bold and wise church leaders who would change the world and shape history by the power of Jesus Christ.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross, I have the gift of the Holy Spirit, His Spirit, sealed within me. The same transformative power that raised Christ from the dead resides in me because of His great love for me. In this scripture, I also see that my God is trustworthy, keeping His promises that He will never leave me or forsake me, but that His transforming Spirit will always live within me to make me more like Him every day. And finally, because of Jesus’ victory upon the cross, I am not defeated by the sin and struggle guaranteed in this world. Instead, my “grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20) and by the Holy Spirit in me, I am offered the gift of peace.
Therefore, my challenge is this: to remember that my God is always in control and will not abandon me. Because of His great love for me, His victory is mine and I live in peace.
“Lord, allow me to live in light of your victory upon the cross, and, because of Jesus, I have the transformative gift of Your Spirit in me and live with great joy! Amen.”
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.