fbpx
Joy, Love, and Peace

Joy, Love, and Peace

John 16:16-33

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 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. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Discussion Questions:

  • How can the slowness of the disciples’ understanding be an encouraging concept for you? How often do you feel that the Lord revisits his lessons with you? What is a lesson that you’ve had to repeat?
  • How have you seen joy persist in Christians even when circumstances would suggest the opposite emotional response would be appropriate? Have you ever had this experience personally?
  • How does the love of God steady Christians in the midst of a shaky life? What does it mean to have “gospel swagger”? How is that different than hubris and pride?
  • What does it mean to have peace because the Lord has overcome the world? What does that look like?
  • How does this teaching help you to appreciate and apply the gospel?

11.5.2023

Transcript

Joy, Love, and Peace

*This transcript is generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.

Let’s get into the Word this morning in John chapter 16. So ,if you’re able to locate a Bible, which we do have here in the book racks in front of you, you’re able to locate a Bible. If you would please get to John chapter 16, and that’s on page 928 and 929. We’re going to be on page 929 in the Bibles that we have here. I’ll read the text starting in verse 16, and we’ll go all the way through the end of chapter 16. Then I’ll pray, and we will get to work. So this is John chapter 16, starting in verse 16, reads like this.

Jesus went on to say, in a little while you will see me no more. And then after a little while, you will see me. At this, some of his disciples said to one another, what does he mean by saying, in a little while you’ll see me no more? And then after a little while, you will see me. And because I am going to the Father, they kept asking, what does he mean by a little while? We don’t understand what he’s saying. Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, are you asking one another what I meant when I said, in a little while you will see me no more? And then after a little while, you will see me very truly, I tell you. You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you, now is your time of grief. But I will see you again, and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 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. Until now, you’ve not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I’m not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I have come from God. I came from the Father and entered the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. Then Jesus’disciples said, now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God. Do you now believe? Jesus replied time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone for my Father is with me. I’ve told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.

Let’s pray. Lord, we thank you for your word. We thank you for Your ability to communicate to us through that word by Your Spirit. So we invite that right now we pray Lord, as a church family that you would help us to know you better, that you would help us to understand what You’ve accomplished through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And Lord, we pray that you would mark our lives with these realities with joy, with love and with peace. And we pray this in the precious name of our Savior. Amen. Amen.

We’re at the end of a series now, or coming to the end of a series. We’re calling it final lessons because this is the section of Scripture where the Lord gathers his disciples together for the final time and he teaches them some things prior to his earthly departure through the arrest that he will experience and the execution and the burial and the resurrection. And he’s giving them these final words of instruction. And we’re now at the end of that. So the end of chapter 16, this is the final, final lesson and then he prays over them before his departure in chapter 17, which we’ll cover in the weeks to come. Now here’s what’s interesting. If you know that you are about to die, the level of seriousness in your conversation changes. He is not talking to them about weather, how’s the weather guys? Or what do you think about the sports team, right? The things that he is now communicating to them. This is the final instance where he will be in this arrangement where he can instruct them ahead of the events to come. And so there’s a weightiness to this and that’s what we found through this entire series together, that he is very careful in the things that he communicates to his disciples. And we find here at the end of chapter 16, we find a couple of things going on. First off, we find out that the way of Christianity opens to us this beautiful reality that is marked by things like joy and love of God and peace. And those are the three things that I’m going to point out as we go. So this is really it’s like the wardrobe into the narnia of Christian experience. This is the way into this world that is incredible and that’s what he’s getting at here by explaining the effects of the gospel. But also we see the narrative shows us that the disciples are very slow in understanding the things of God and that’s helpful for us to point out because we also are slow in understanding and applying the things of God. So let’s get to work. Joy, love and peace.

JOY

Joy comes in verses 13 to 24. We understand from the teaching of the Lord that to believe in the good news of the Gospel gives us the ability to be the kind of people who can go through all manner of difficult things. But we maintain a heart filled with joy. And you’ll wonder how that works, but we’ll find it along the way. But notice the disciples are pretty clueless about what’s happening here. Look at verse 16. Jesus went on to say in a little while you will see me no more. And then after a little while you will see me. And the disciples are confused by this. In fact, they begin to ask some questions about it because it’s figurative language, as the Lord will tell us. He uses figurative language and indirect communication. And there’s a mystery to it. There’s a mystery to the Gospel that is hidden and later revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. So what does this mean? In a little while you will see me no more. Then after a little while you will see me again. We have the luxury of hindsight. We have the luxury of looking at the events. And the events help us to interpret the words so we can say confidently what he’s talking about would be his departure, his earthly departure. In a little while he will be betrayed and arrested and he will be executed. And in death they will lose him. They will see him no more and they will experience the tremendous grief from that event. He will die. His physical body will be placed in a garden tomb and he will be buried. But then he says, but after a little while you will see me again. And we can look at the events that follow and we can understand what he’s getting at. He recognizes that not only will he be placed in a garden tomb, he will also resurrect and he will return and the disciples will see him again. And that grief that they experienced will turn to joy. So we have the ability to interpret what he’s saying based off of the events that will follow. The disciples didn’t have that luxury. So they hear these words and they’re confused by them. Look at verses 17 and 18. At this, some of his disciples said to one another what does he mean by saying in a little while you’ll see me no more than after a little while you will see me. And because I’m going to the Father, they kept asking, what does he mean by a little while? We don’t understand what he’s saying. In other words, the disciples are honest enough to say and to record it for us. We didn’t get it. We had no idea what was going on here. We were pretty spiritually clueless. And the good news for us is we, too are often spiritually clueless. And even if you had Jesus as your direct instructor, you could have the best teacher in the world, and you could be like, okay, I’m listening. Okay, I’m tracking with you. And then you could go, I don’t know what you’re saying. Right. Like, I hear all the information. I mean, I understand the words that you’re using. I just don’t know what it means. And this is good news for us, because often, as I’ve seen the growth of Christianity, the growth of understanding what God has done and apprehending it and applying it, it’s a long game. It’s a long process. And what we need to recognize here is that the lessons that the Lord is teaching, they need to be applied in the power of the Holy Spirit, because otherwise, all this information can just go right over our heads. We can learn all these different things, but if we don’t have the humility to acknowledge that maybe we’re not actually understanding what the Lord is meaning here, then we can miss the lesson entirely. This is important for me. I think humility is such a key feature in the life of a Christian, including our understanding of knowledge. We need to be willing to say we have much more to learn from the Lord and pray that the Holy Spirit would give us insight and understanding. I have a degree. It’s kind of funny. It’s called a master’s degree in theology. Now, the title is incredibly misleading because it’s saying he’s mastered this subject, master of Theology. Now, if I had my way, we would change it to I’m beginning in theology, I’m a starter in theology. Because when you come to see how the Lord communicates to us and how some of the things that he says are actually difficult for us to apprehend, we should be willing to recognize. I heard him. I just don’t get it. Okay, think about their assignment notebook. My daughter has an assignment notebook. It comes home every day, and on there, we have to check the boxes, and then the parents have to sign it. So on the disciples assignment notebook, okay, did they read the chapter? Were they there for this lesson? Check. Yep, they heard it. They were there. So and so was a little distracted, but Jesus brought them back, and he paid attention. He got this one check. That one. Okay. Did they do their homework? He gave them assignments to try to learn this stuff. Did they do the things that he told them to do? Check. Okay, how about comprehension? Do they understand what he was saying? No. Failure. They did all the work. They heard the lesson, but they don’t know what it means. We need to be willing to be honest with how we feel as well and be willing to say, on the level of comprehension, I still don’t have it. And that’s okay. The Lord meets us where we’re at. He’s sensitive to our lack of understanding. Look at verse 19. Jesus saw that they wanted to ask Him about this, so he said to them, are you asking one another what I meant when I said, in a little while, you’ll see me? No more than, after a little while, you’ll see me. Now, this is good news, because he’s not rolling his eyes at them. He’s not scolding them like, Are you kidding me? This is the last lesson. This is it. He’s not giving them a hard time about this. He’s meeting them where they’re at, and he’s helping to bring them up to speed on what Christianity ultimately means for them. He’s patient with us. A lot of us need to be reminded of that. The Lord is patient with us, and that’s great news. So what does he do here? He responds by preaching about the radical effect of the Gospel. Now, I use that word purposefully because Alistair Begg, one of the guys that I listen to, he points this out. What Jesus does here is he gives an incredible sermon, has three points to it. It has explanation. It explains what he’s doing here. Then he illustrates it, and then he applies it. Explains it, illustrates it, and applies it. Let’s look at this. He explains it in verse 20. Very truly, I tell you. You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. He’s explaining what’s about to happen, what’s coming down the pipe. He says, this is what’s going to happen. You’re going to lose me. And the experience of that loss will be absolutely devastating. It’ll be the worst thing that you ever go through. You will feel the pain of losing a beloved friend. You will feel the disappointment of the loss of hope as you have placed your trust in Christ as the Messiah, the One who’s going to bring all things to be right. He’s going to protect the people of God. He’s going to make everything plain. They have all these expectations for Him. But what’s about to unfold over the course of this weekend? Is he’s going to be arrested and executed? And he says you will grieve. You will be destroyed by the events that are about to happen. You will weep and mourn, and the world will rejoice. The unbelieving world will look at these events, and they will rejoice that they have attempted to snuff out the light of God. The world will look on Jesus at the cross hanging there, and they will mock Him openly. They’ll say things like, you claimed that you could save us. You can’t even save yourself. And they will spit on Him and kick dust on Him and mock Him. The soldiers who arrested Him, they put a royal garment on Him and a crown of thorns, and they mocked Him. They kneeled to him. Hail, King of the Jews. Hail, the King of the Jews. Look at this guy. They put a bag on his head so he couldn’t see. They’re like, you’re such a great prophet. Tell us who’s hitting you. And they would punch him in the head. They would pluck out his beard and they would spit on him. They mocked him. The world was rejoicing. Meanwhile, the disciples are in anguish because their friend, their beloved Jesus of Nazareth, is gone. They lost him in death. And he says, that’s what’s going to happen. Very truly, I tell you. You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. But there’s good news. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. The pain will not be muted. The pain will not be circumvented. The pain will be real. The grief, the loss, the mourning will be incredibly real to you. But here’s what’s beautiful about the power of the gospel. Your grief will turn to joy. You will go through hell. But on the other side of it, you will find the goodness of God. Your joy will come out of the pain of that loss because you will see me again. He goes on to say so. He explains it. Secondly, he illustrates that a woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. He uses the metaphor of labor to describe what the disciples are going to go through. I was there for the birth of both of my children. Reese, my firstborn born, her delivery. My wife was in active labor for hours, and it was awful. And so when somebody tells Ash and I our labor was easy. I resent you, okay? So if you come up to me and say that, I’ll just let you know, I won’t like you very much anymore. But the pain is significant, right? And all the moms in here would nod. And in the first century, they didn’t even have epidurals or medical advances that we have now. So the pain in the first century, it was always very pronounced, and the life of the mom was always on the line, and there was uncertainty as to how it would unfold. And so he uses this metaphor and he says that pain is similar to what you guys are going to go through. A woman giving birth has pain because her time has come, but then the child is born. And when the baby is born, the mother forgets the anguish because of the joy that the child has been born into this world. Those of you that are parents can relate to this metaphor. It clicks with you because you understand the significance of seeing what it is that you have now, this beautiful child, and how that eclipses the pain that you went through to get to that moment. And jesus is saying that’s what you’re going to go through, you’re going to go through the sadness of loss and death and grief and uncertainty of the future. But that experience will be transformed to joy. You will come out on the other side, rejoicing in the things of God. He’s prophetically promising what’s going to happen in the days to come. He says, here’s the application. So with you like this, mother, so with you, now is your time of grief. But I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. You’re going to go through this and you’re going to feel it. It’s going to be the worst thing that you ever go through. But then I will return and you will see me, and you will be filled with joy. Unspeakable. Your joy will eclipse the grief. The thing that you now feel will actually overwhelm what you’ve been through, having gone through that, you’ll actually appreciate both the joy and the grief they’ll be comingled. The Apostle Paul puts it like this when he’s talking about how the Gospel can change somebody, he says, I consider that our present sufferings aren’t even worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. This is Romans, chapter eight, verse 18. He says, Listen, if you were to put it on a scale, you don’t have to, you don’t even have to do this because it’s so obvious, the sufferings that you go through as a believer in Christ versus what God has done and the glory that will be revealed in you, he goes, It just bottoms out. The stuff that we go through, as bad as it is, and we’re not trying to be dismissive of it. He says, but when you start to weigh this thing out, what God has accomplished in Christ, the glory that will be revealed in you, this thing just bottoms out on this side. This is worth it. This is better. So Jesus is saying, if you understand the good news of the Gospel, you will be a person who has a resilient joy. You will have a person who has this incredible joy that no one can take away from you. Look at the end of verse 22 and no one will take this away. C. S. Lewis famously said, don’t let your happiness depend on something you might lose. If your hope is in something that’s temporary, your success and your vocation or your relationships, the health of your relationships or your financial well being, or your health or anything else, that’s all transient. That’s all unclear as to whether or not you’re going to have that in the long run. But what if your hope is in Jesus Christ and you can be confident that he is for you and you could never lose Him? Now we’re on to something because you have a joy that is unshakable. You have a confidence in Him and what he’s done and if you believe that it will change you radically, it will change how you live. I’ll show it to you in a passage from Hebrews, chapter ten. Hebrews, the author is writing and he’s trying to get his readers to remember what they’ve been through. And he’s encouraging them. And he’s saying, okay, when you first became a Christian, remember what that was like? And then he draws attention to a particular instance where they visited friends in prison. They had some friends that were believers in Christ and they were arrested because in the first century that was an unpopular thing to be a follower of the way they were arrested. And so this other group, they go to do a prison visit. And while they’re doing that, people find out, oh, if they’re visiting them, they must also be Christians. We don’t like them then. So the group goes to the home of these people who are doing the prison visit and they steal all their stuff. They take it, they pillage their home, they take all their stuff. Now, the writer to the Hebrew says, I want you guys to recall what that was like. I’ll read it to you. This is [Hebrews] chapter ten, verses 32. And following, he says, remember in those early days after you had received the light, this is the good news of the Gospel. You became a Christian and you endured a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution. At other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possession. That sentence doesn’t make sense unless there is good news in the Gospel. You joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property. What? So people go into your home and they steal all your stuff. What should your response be? Anger, frustration, irritation, a desire to get even a desire to get your stuff back. But here’s what happens with the believers. People go into their home, they steal their stuff, and the believers joyfully accept that. What is going on here? They joyfully accepted the confiscation of their property because they knew that they had a better and lasting possession. Their hope was not in their stuff. Their hope was not in their comfort of God protecting them from evil people doing evil things. Their hope was not in any circumstantial thing. Their hope is in Jesus Christ. Therefore, they can go through the difficulties of life unfazed, even when persecution comes, even when hostility comes. That’s what the Gospel is able to do. It makes a people who have hearts filled with joy. And it’s surprising even when we see it, it’ll show up in the way that we pray. That’s what Jesus is saying in verses 23 and 24. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly, my Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. And I think what he’s getting at here is the fact that right now they’re like, we don’t understand, so we better figure out a way to ask know what’s going on here. We don’t know what he’s talking about. And so we need to figure this thing he’s but Jesus is saying there’s a day coming when your prayer life is going to reveal your joy. And it’s going to look a little bit different now because it’s going to be the inauguration of the Kingdom of God. He’s going to the Father, and now your prayer is going to look incredibly different. You’re not going to have to find Him and try to figure out a way to get into the conversation, a question about something that you don’t understand. He says, Truly, I tell you, you will talk directly to My Father in My name and he will delight to answer your prayers. He will give you whatever you ask in My name. He’s pointing to what’s about to happen, that in a few moments after he is arrested and executed, then after his resurrection and ascension, the way we pray is different. The way we pray is in the name of Christ to the Father with the help of the Holy Spirit. It’s a beautiful thing. And when we do that, look at this verse 24 until now, you’ve not done this. Why? Because that’d be weird if you’re at dinner with Jesus and you’re praying in his name and he’s like, I’m right here. But now he’s going to go away and he’s saying, until now, you’ve not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete. Even your prayer life will be evidence of this new reality going on in your heart. Your joy will be complete. The good news of the Gospel makes a joyful people.

LOVE

Secondly, we find out that the good news of the Gospel introduces us to the love of God. Good news of the Gospel is that armoire that opens into the vista of Narnia, the love of God, and it’s a beautiful thing. Now, again, the disciples don’t really know what’s going on, so Jesus is replying to them and he says in verse 25, though I’ve been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language, but will tell you plainly about my Father up until this point. It’s confusing, it’s ambiguous, it’s unclear. But a day is coming when the Spirit will make this plain, when he will speak directly, when people will begin to see the mystery of the Gospel being unveiled. And then they will be able to understand all that he has been teaching all along. The Holy Spirit will come and teach people the way of Christ. Your prayers again will change. In that day, you will ask in My name. I’m not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you’ve loved me and have believed that I came from God. So again, your prayer life now is going to look different. You’re going to communicate to God in the name of Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit. And here’s what’s incredible. You are going to experience the love of God. Remember in John 316, I mean, the only reason you’d remember it is because it’s so famous, but for God so loved the world. That’s what John said way back in chapter three. And now he’s saying, Jesus is saying that love that God has for the world, you’re personally going to experience because of your belief in me. Jesus is saying you’re personally going to see that you are the object of God’s love and if you understand that it will change your life, it will change your life. He explains how this could be. So, verse 28 I came from the Father and entered the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. And people have pointed out this is like an explanation of the Gospel. How can we know that God loves us? Well, God sent his son. Jesus said, I came from the Father and entered the world. He lived a perfect life and he laid that life down sacrificially in death for us. He died and they placed him in a garden tomb. But he resurrected and ascended. I am now leaving the world and going back to the Father. The good news of the gospel is that God sent his son. His Son performed the righteousness that we require sacrificially gave of his life. And now ascends to the right hand of the Father, that’s the good news of the Gospel. And that event helps us to apprehend the love of God. If you believe in Jesus and what he did, you are experiencing the love of God. Now what does that do for you? Everything. There was a study done in Harvard where it tracked children over the course of many years and it was observing children who were raised in environments where they experienced love and affection and they were looking at this and then they tracked them into adulthood to see what was the effect of that. And this is intuitive knowledge, by the way, but I’m just trying to help you believe that it’s true also. But here’s what they found. Children who grew up in environments where they experienced regular doses of love and affirmation and that was just the routine in their household. Those children in adulthood had things about their lives that could be measurable as flourishing. They experienced a lot of benefits in life because of their… the correlation is because of the love and the affection that they experience. And the opposite is true as well. If you were to observe people who grow up in a household where love and affection [are] not a routine thing, then you find out that in adulthood, those people are disadvantaged in certain ways and trying to compensate for that experience. Now, the reason why this is important is because if it’s true in a sociological environment, like a family, that it’s a superpower, it’s like a kid has a superpower. If you love them as a child, it’s like they have a superpower. They’re confident and they’re healthy, and they’re able to make better choices. Now, apply that to Christianity. There’s a difference between people who are unclear as to whether or not God loves them, and they are very unhealthy people. They go through life with fear and anxiety. They go through life trying to compensate for their inadequacies. They go through life trying to prove themselves to be valuable and worthy. They go through life and they use and misuse people and do all these different things. What happens to people who are confident that God loves them? They are steadied, they are resilient, they are able to go through life, and they have this different resource available to them because they are loved by God, they can handle life. Let me show it to you. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul writes like this in Romans chapter 8. He’s developing the same argument, but he’s doing it in Romans chapter 8. And he says, if God is for us this is a hypothetical question who could be against us? So if God loves us, who could possibly stand against that? And he goes on to describe it like this. He says, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword as it’s written for your sake, we face death all day long. We’re considered sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors saying we don’t just survive the Christian life. We are conquerors more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I’m 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. Do you hear what that does to the tone of a believer? John was so riveted by it, he wrote three more letters later. What’s the subject matter of his letters? The love of God. He was so enthralled by this concept that this became the theme of his writing. But the people who recognize God loves me, and I know that because Jesus went to the cross and died in my place, God loves me. It gives you a gospel swagger. It gives you this confidence that you can say, Listen, God is for me. Nothing could come against me. If God is for me, and I know that to be true because of Christ, then I can do whatever. Because I’m invincible. That’s a wild thing. A person who knows the love of God is an invincible individual. They can go through all manner of difficulty, but they trust in the work of Christ and the love of God. Secondly, believers have the love of God. That is significant. But it’s not just joy and it’s not just love. It’s also peace.

PEACE

The gospel gives us peace. The good news of what Christ has done invites us into an experience of peace. Well, remember in the narrative that the disciples are slow and coming along. So they go from, we have no idea what’s happening. Then they overcompensate here. They go full throttle. We got this one. I’ll show it to you here. In verses 29 and 30, they have overconfidence in what they think they understand and the Lord has to rebuke them again. Look at verse 29. Then Jesus disciples said, now you’re speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God. They think we got it. The lesson now we can check that one off. Comprehension. Got it. And Jesus says, not quite. And in fact, he uses sarcasm, which the Bible only uses very sparingly. It is appropriate in moments like this where you need to kind of surprise somebody into recognizing their ignorance. But if you only talk in sarcasm, that’s a problem also. But he says, do you now believe this is verse 31. Jesus says, do you really? You boys think you got this one? Are you sure? And the reason why I know it’s sarcasm is because what he says next, they say, we got this. Now you’re talking to us plainly. We get it. And he goes, do you? Because a moment is coming. A time is coming, and in fact has come when you’ll be scattered, each to your own home. You’ll leave me all alone, yet I’m not alone, for my Father is with me. You say that you believe, but your belief is about to be tested and proven wanting. You say that you believe in me, but in a moment you’re going to be so scared. Scared out of your mind, scared out of your clothes. Mark, by the way, when he writes his account, he writes himself in there. Jesus is arrested and they all scatter to their homes. And Mark’s in there, he’s the dude who doesn’t have any pants on. He’s so scared. He’s like, I don’t have time for a robe. I’m out of here. That’s the kind of fear that is going on in their hearts. They run away. Jesus says, you might believe, but that belief isn’t. You know this, but it has not landed on your heart yet. You’re not trusting in it. You’re not believing in it in a way that changes you. You know the information, but he says, Truly, I’m telling you, a time is coming, and it is here when you’re going to run away. He says, I’ve told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world. He’s teaching us in advance about what he is accomplishing at Calvary. He says, I’m telling you this so that you might experience the peace of God. You will grieve. Your grief will turn to joy. You will mourn. That mourning will be transformed. You will go through difficulty. But in the midst of that, if you’re a believer in the good news of the gospel, you have this inner resource where you actually deal with the world, recognizing you have peace with God. It’s incredible. It’s almost unbelievable. Jesus is saying, you will have trouble, right? He doesn’t say, Here, you know what? Maybe it’ll be hard for you guys. In this world, you might have some trouble. In this world, there’s a potential for difficulty. Says, no, this is the gig. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world. He’s telling us to believe in Him and what he’s accomplished. And he’s telling us that if we do that, the life of God will invade us and we will begin to experience peace with God. And this really can happen. It’s a man named Horatio Spafford. He was an attorney and a real estate investor, and he lived in the 18 hundreds. He was incredibly wealthy and doing quite well. But then the Great Fire of Chicago occurred in 1871, and he lost fortune. He lost so much in that event, and it was devastating to him and to his family. And around the same time, he had a four year old son who contracted scarlet fever and got sick and died, and his life was falling apart. But he’s a believer in Jesus Christ and trying to figure out what to do next. And he still has some resources available to him, so he looks forward to an opportunity to get away. And actually, he’s going to go help Dwight Moody with an evangelistic campaign in Europe. And so he and his wife and his four daughters are going to go, and they’re going to spend some time elsewhere. And again, this is the 18 hundreds. So they’re not hopping on a southwest flight. They’re getting on a vessel and traveling overseas to get to where they need to go. Some things happened along the way, so he had to make adjustments to the plan, and he ended up sending his wife and his daughters ahead because he had to wrap some stuff up back home. He was going to finish his work, and then he was going to hop on a vessel and travel to Europe as well. Now, while his wife and daughters were traveling across the Atlantic, the ship had a collision and sank, and 200 people died. On that ship, including Horatio’s four daughters. And then the wife survived and makes it to Europe and sends a telegram back to Horatio telling him this is what’s going on. What do I even do? Horatio boards a ship to head to his grieving wife in England and he’s sailing across the Atlantic as well. And the captain says, Sir, I’d like to inform you that we’re about to go over the place where the ship went down. Would you like to come on deck, know, be there for passing over this thing or whatever the case might be? Now, here’s what’s interesting. Horatio Spafford began to experience something because he’s a believer in Christ and he begins to experience the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And he describes it in a song that many of us are familiar with. It’s called? It is well with my soul. And he writes like this These are the lyrics to the song. He says, when peace like a river attendeth my way when sorrows like sea billows roll if you’re not a Christian, this doesn’t make sense. You don’t lose everything, you don’t lose loved ones and talk like this. But if you are a Christian, game on. This is the kind of stuff that the Holy Spirit is able to do. He’s saying, there’s peace like a river that’s attending my way even though sorrows are like the waves of this sea that capsized the ship and took my family. He says, Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to know it is well with my soul. Christianity gives us this otherworldly peace and I don’t know how to explain it other than to say it is a work of God to go through life and to experience pain and grief and sorrow and to experience some of that on account of your faith, to experience persecution and difficulty and suffering. But Christians are a people who have placed their hope in Jesus Christ and have watched him both die and be buried but also raise from the dead. And we have a hope then that is something that is resilient. We have a hope that is in heaven with God. We have a confidence then that gives us joy and the love of God and peace. And it means that we can go through the difficulties of life and come out on the other side singing, which is weird unless it’s true. But Jesus conquered sin, death and the devil. Therefore we can worship and we can sing. Two things in closing, as we wrap this up this morning, I just want to point out a couple of things that I observe as a pastor and this will be important in our closing. The first one is these lessons are not easy to come by. In fact, you’re not going to get done with the sermon today. Go off to your small group and talk about it and be able to check this box off and go, Yep, I’ve got this one figured out. It’s not going to happen. In fact, you see in the disciples, it’s going to be a slow process where the Lord patiently works in and through us. It’s going to take both time and the work of the Holy Spirit for us to ever come anywhere close to what we’ve been describing here. We need the work of the Spirit to bring these things home to our hearts so we might experience joy and love and peace. But it’s the long game that we’re playing here and we trust that God will help us. The second thing that I need to say here about how this lesson often comes home to someone’s heart is often it is in the pain that this lesson is learned. Often it is when things go sideways that people begin to see if Jesus is all that I have, that’s all that I need. But it’s only when you go through life and it beats you up that you come to that conclusion. Otherwise, you just kind of cruise through life and you’re like, I like Jesus. I like what he does for me. I like the benefits of following Him and all the blessings that come with it. But when he’s all that you have, that’s when it dawns on you, he is more than enough. He is my Lord, he is my Savior. He is the way that I experience joy and love and peace.

Let’s pray. Lord, we ask right now as we bow our heads and bow our hearts, would you by Your spirit, help us to believe that the Good news of the Gospel is so real and so powerful that it can change us from the inside out? You can take our grief and our sorrow and our mourning, and you can turn them to joy. You can take the uncertainty of our identities and the striving and the chasing after everything that we want to happen in our lives. And you can give us the peace of knowing that we’re loved by you. You can give us that gospel swagger that says, God is for me. Who could possibly be against me? And Lord, you are able by the power of the good news of the Gospel to give us peace so we can go through all manner of difficulties in life, but we know that it is well with our souls. So Lord, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, would you help us to believe those things this morning we pray in Your name.