We face many difficulties, both because of the sin in our lives and the rampant evil in the world around us. John, like other Biblical writers, continually reminded believers that God is just as real and close to us today as Jesus was to the disciples almost 2,000 years ago. This reality is true even when we find ourselves unable to perceive that He is at work in our lives. Our faith can all too easily be smothered by the very real problems around us, but Paul also continually reminds us of the confidences we have in Jesus Christ:
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”, (Romans 8:35-39).
Feeling alone and isolated during a difficult time might just be the worst of all the emotions we experience in our life-time. Jesus knew what was coming in His own life; His arrest trial, execution and resurrection.
But before He left His disciples to carry out God’s plan to reconcile His people to Himself, He wanted them to understand that they would never find themselves in the position of abandonment. He promised that His Holy Spirit would live within them as the embodiment of God’s presence (John 14-16). “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever”, (John 15:16). “In a little while you will see me no more and then after a little while you will see me”.
Circumstances would not always be smooth for the small group of men who had put their lives at stake to follow Jesus (Mark 10: 17-31 and 16: 7-15). Jesus urged His disciples, however, to allow others to see the love of God reflected in their lives instead of lashing out in hostility at the opposition against them.
When we respond to others in love, we stand in sharp contrast to the value system of the world and have an opportunity to reveal to those around us the Father’s heart. “Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life; in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing”, (Philippians 2: 14-16).
Jesus offered His disciples the wonderful gift of His comfort and helped to take them through their trails. His blessings are founded on His promises. Our Lord has pledged to come back for His people and answer when we call on Him. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”, (John 14:3). “And I will do whatsoever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me anything in my name, and I will do it”, (John 3: 13-14). The Counselor, the Helper Jesus promised has long since come and taken up residence in our hearts, continually teaching us what God wants and bringing peace to our souls. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you, I do not give it as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; and do not be afraid. You have heard me say I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you love me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I”, (John 14:27-28).
We have the Spirit present in our hearts now, and we will one day bask in Jesus’ glorious presence for all eternity. Without Jesus, everyday problems and challenges would appear random and senseless, and we would feel as if we were at the mercy of a cruel and inexplicable universe. When we give our lives to the Savior, however, we receive the kind of hope that gives us strength for today as we are empowered to put our daily struggles into perspective. Our steps need not be tentative when we know that the Almighty God of the universe is walking with us, stride for stride, throughout our life’s journey.
Your faith in Jesus plays a great role in lifting you out of despair, depression, discontentment and discouragement. Whatever the circumstance presents we must remember the Word of God promises that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light in our life. So we live in constant expectation of comfort and love from the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ.