Focal Passages: John 15:26-16:15
Hate is a strong word and one I certainly have not allowed to be used by our children as they relate to one another. But, in the Christian life, we have to recognize that our faith may bring such a strong reaction that we may feel hatred directed towards us. In John 15, Jesus makes it very clear that the world will hate those who follow Him. Our testimony may meet real resistance and even hostility.
I recently was personally challenged when hearing about an eight-year-old girl in our church who consistently shares John 3:16 with strangers. Her parents described how she approaches each person and asks if she can share the scripture with them.
She has had mixed responses and some not so positive. Her parents observed that it is hard to understand when someone makes it very clear that they want her to be quiet. A couple of weeks ago, it was all worth it though when she shared it with someone who said, “I just saw a bumper sticker yesterday with John 3:16 on it and I wondered what it meant.” The Holy Spirit continues to give her courage in experiencing both positive and negative responses. The Holy Spirit will also be clearly present for us when we experience sorrow (John 16:5-7).
Jesus assured His disciples that they would be comforted by the Holy Spirit, when He departed to heaven. I have witnessed families who exhibited such strength and peace, even as they lost someone who meant so much to them. The Holy Spirit has upheld them in their time of deep sorrow.
The Holy Spirit fulfills additional roles by battling for us when we feel Satan is trying to take control (John 16:8-11) and giving understanding when it is needed (John 16:12-15).
We can trust the Holy Spirit to convict the person who needs to see their sin and make needed changes. The Holy Spirit will also help make the gospel message clear to those who need clarity. So we can depend on the Spirit to be there for us in every situation.