Read John 16:17-33 from the Message. How many would say you’re dealing with anxiety today? Ron’s question—what’s keeping you up at night? Can’t you relate to what the guys around Jesus are feeling here? They’re worried about the future. Back in the storm.
Think back to chapt. 14 (about 2-3 years ago!). Trust in God, trust in me. Put it all together and Jesus is saying something like this:
· What you were created for was to have an intimate relationship with God, you are to be his friends, connected to him, living in him.
· Jesus has come to reveal to us what God is like (seen him, seen the Father) understand his character, his abilities, how he feels about you.
· V. 23 our whole rel. with God has changed, before this could only approach him through priests, mediators, sacrifices, now we can speak to him face to face.
· Will be practical results of that—love each other, live in unity, pray differently, live in the world differently.
· But the key aspect will be trust in God, that no matter what happens, no matter what life deals me, no matter how long it lasts, I will have faith in God.
Read Lucado, Hurricane Warnings, p. 11, Six Hours One Friday.
Jesus already given several anchor points for us.
· This is not our home. There is a sense of that in 16, guys grief will turn to joy when they se him again. We wait for the same thing. Look at hall of faith in Hebrews 11, anchored lives not in this world, but in another. Every time we try to anchor to something here, causes anxiety, stress and disappointment
· We are not alone. The HS lives inside us.
· All the evidence that Jesus is who he says he is.
One more vital anchor point.
· There’s a storm of hurricane proportions about to roll in. Soon they will weep and mourn, a time of grief, hurt as bad as childbirth, scattered, abandon me. It’s not going to be pretty.
· Yet 2 things Jesus says they will eventually experience—already talked about these two. Joy and peace.
o 14:27; 15:11.
o Joy is that gladness, that bedrock assurance that God is in every experience of my life, working for my good. While I may not be joy filled over the circumstance, I am over God.
o Peace is an overall sense of well being, a sense of wholeness, not careening out of control.
o Should be natural parts of their lives.
So how do they get from one to the other, what is it that allows them to finally put their trust in God and his presence in their lives? Let’s look at one of those BIG BUTS of the Bible again. V. 22.
· Remember this? It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’.
· The resurrection of Jesus changes everything.
o How do you know God is in control? The res.
o How do I know that I can trust what Jesus says?
o How do I know that my life has purpose?
o That this existence isn’t all there is?
The res. allows me to say “what I am going through is a difficult time. Don’t understand it. But I do know God. I know that he says I can have joy and peace. I need to anchor myself in the res. of Jesus. I choose to trust that God is faithful, and that no matter how difficult, how long, I can walk this path.
Yes, but how?
o Pour your heart out to God.
o Study people of faith. Noah. Hebrews 11.
o Hang around trusting people and see how they deal with stuff. Pauline and St. Claire Benshoff.
o Don’t withdraw from the support system God has given you. Don’t go it alone.
o Build in reminders of your anchor points.