John 16:16-33

John 16:16-33

John 16:33Vintage message from March 10, 2002.

“In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

…He is not saying that the door to heaven is now open for you, for you to fulfill your every whim and desire, but the door of heaven is now open for you to ask My Father for the things that are important that you have learned from Me. If you are asking in My Name, He is really saying you are asking according to the character and lifestyle that I have lived, and He was the One that told the disciples early on, I have no pillow for My head. I have nothing. You want to see where I live? Come, follow Me. It’s not pretty. He wasn’t asking for the mansions. He wasn’t asking for the money. He wasn’t asking for anything, but for the lives of those men and women that He encountered. He asked for the miracles in order for men to be healed when they were suffering and struggling. He asked for the Father to feed those that were poor and in need, and then He took the bread and broke it and fed the multitudes. When you ask in Jesus’s name, that’s what you’re asking for. You’re asking in the character and the life, the love, that Jesus had when He followed His Father…

One of the things that is the hardest to convince this world, and especially those that are hurting and suffering is that God loves them. “Well, how can God love me and leave me in this mess that I’m in? How can you say that Jesus loves me when I’m suffering and hurting so much?” Well, sometimes there is pain and sometimes there is anguish, but by believing in Jesus, it’s not about our comfort. It’s about knowing what the Father knows, and living as the Father has asked us to live, and the Father knew that the sacrifice needed to be made and that it would be through Jesus, and therefore, Jesus told us early on, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.” And if you know that, even if you’re in anguish and suffering, you can know the Father’s love…

And even with the help of the Holy Spirit, there are times in our lives that we become so hurt and scattered in our thoughts that we abandon Jesus, too. We accuse Him, we get angry at Him because of what He’s doing, and we run. So we can’t be too hard on these disciples…when we still today, like these disciples, are a little thick of skull and hard of heart…

Jesus wants us to have peace. He wants us to be in Him and have peace… His desire is for us to have peace, but He makes it clear, “This is a promise, guys. This is the fact of the matter. In this life you will have tribulation. You will have trouble.” So, the next time you find yourself struggling, and trouble is all around you, you don’t need to ask, “Why is this happening to me? Oh, God! Have You forgotten me?” You don’t have to ask that. Just remember that Jesus warned you. You’re in a world that hates you… Let me tell you of some of your enemies. Number one, you have the flesh to contend with each and every day… Our flesh is challenged, and we want to walk away from the Lord. Trouble is lurking. And then, we have an enemy that is called Satan, the devil, the one who roams around seeking whom he may devour. Our enemy does not necessarily have to be our neighbor or the government or the idiot that carries a gun in his hand and threatens to shoot people. Our enemy is oftentimes our own heart and the enemy of God that twists God’s Word to cause our heart to be confused, and then trouble comes. We make wrong decisions, we do stupid things, and we find ourselves in trouble. We live in a world that brings us trouble, trials, hardship, challenges, and Jesus tells us that this is the way it’s supposed to be. Don’t be caught off guard. Don’t become discouraged. He’s telling us, this is information I’m giving to you so that you will have peace. So that when you face these things — and then even if your neighbor does come out and attack you — understand something, you knew it was supposed to come so that you would have peace. “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” And this is the Man Who is just hours away from having spikes being rammed into His hands and His feet, after bloody, brutal beating, being accused falsely, the crowds chanting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” And He’s telling His disciples, “I have overcome this…” You, too, can be over-comers in Jesus Christ. You can overcome the hardships. You can overcome the challenges. You can overcome the hurtful things that come your way, and you will have those things that hurt you. I don’t know what form it’s going to come in, I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but I can guarantee you, you will find and face trouble in your life. But that’s the beginning. Jesus is saying, “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.” He’s giving us information so that we will stay on the right path. So that we will follow God in the way that God wants to be followed, through His Son Jesus Christ, taking the example that Jesus gave to us…

Pastor Dave Elkins

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John 15:5-15