The Courage to Stand Still – John 16:4-33
4 But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. However, I did not say these things to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
5 “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: 9 regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; 11 and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.
16 “A little while, and you no longer are going to see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.” 17 So some of His disciples said to one another, “What is this that He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you are not going to see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to question Him, and He said to them, “Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you are not going to see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me’? 20 Truly, truly I say to you that you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy! 21 Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one is going to take your joy away from you.
23 And on that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
25 “These things I have spoken to you in figures of speech; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in My name, and I am not saying to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
29 His disciples *said, “See, now You are speaking plainly and are not using any figure of speech. 30 Now we know that You know all things, and that You have no need for anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You came forth from God.” 31 Jesus replied to them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The world always drifts from Christ’s Word. Therefore, the Church, committed to live by and proclaim His Word, is often opposed by the world. Unfortunately, in the face of such opposition, the Church often pursues unloving combat or unloving compromise. Jesus calls us to a third way in John 16:4-33. See the drifting crowd and exercise the courage to stand still. But where do we generate such courage? Not from inside ourselves. Jesus makes four promises to us.
Promises that will provide the courage to stand still and invite the world to exalt Christ with us.