So almost all of my posts from my New Testament class have been directly inspired by something that my professor said in class, but that’s not the case today. Last week, our teacher sent us a study guide to talk about with a group instead of going to lecture that day. And as I read the chapters needed to complete this assignment, it seemed that the spirit was even more present than on a normal day. Or maybe it was the chapters we were reading. But anyhows, I’m mostly going to be sharing my own thoughts and own personal revelations that I feel I should share from my studies.
The main focus of this study guide was on John 16 and 17. These are honestly some of the most powerful chapters I have ever read. I was marking up, underlining, and writing some inspirations in the margins all over the place. I hope that some of the things that God inspired me with helps someone out there who is reading this.
Let’s start off in John 16:12. It reads, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” This verse struck me especially hard. In my true conversion to the church, I have had many questions. And I still do. And a lot of my questions are on the deeper principles of the gospel. And I have talked to many pastors, bishops, friends, and people about some of these questions that I have. I have studied and prayed them out. Alas, nothing. No answer. And it’s been the most frustrating thing ever. But when I read this verse, it hit me so hard, because it kind of hit me that there is so much truth out there. And there is so much that God wants to tell us, but we cannot comprehend in this life. And as frustrating as it is to a know-it-all like me, this verse brought me peace of heart. God has many mysteries. We cannot even begin to fathom the magnitude of his power, but that’s ok. Because we know and are given the tools that we need to be able to know all that we need to. The day will come when God will reveal His infinite magnitude, but that’s not today and in this moment. But that’s okay. And I’m okay with it.
The next thing I want to expound on is verse 20; “verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” When I read that, it made me think back to John 11:4 and John 9:3. One thing my teacher pointed out on the study guide is that this verse is talking about instant gratification. The world is a world of instant gratification, and Satan is the instigator of that. He gives us what we want here at this exact moment, but then he leaves us hanging and has nothing else to offer us. However, God gives us trials, ailments, sickness, and disabilities; but He does it out of love. He gives us these things because we can handle them and because we can and will grow from them. In John 11:4 it reads, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” We must endure our struggles and endure them well. And we must know that God is doing it for our betterment. And when we overcome our downfalls, we must give glory to the one who helped us through them. I would rather suffer for years and have eternal happiness that can only be brought through our atoning Jesus Christ than get what I want when I want it. John 16:22, “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
The last thought I want to share is snippets from verse 32 and 33. “I am not alone, because the Father is with me…. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” What more comforting words could one read. I know that loneliness is something that haunts me, and I think it’s something that plagues everyone. And I know that tribulations are always around me. And that they are with everyone. Heck, loneliness might be the tribulation you are facing. But these phrases from these two verses give me so much comfort. The Father is with me. I know He is. I believe in a God who never leaves me alone. Who might remain quite during my trials, but is always within reaching distance. I believe in a God who created the world and has overcome the world. I believe in a God that loves me and helps me when I need help, even with the most simple of tasks.
If you haven’t read John 16, please go read it. Pray about it. Mark it up. Read it. Ponder it. It is one of the most profound and comforting chapters of the gospels. God lives. He loves us. He watches over us. He gives us trials to overcome because He knows we can handle them. He is always there to help us. Do not forget.