“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:32-33)

Our American culture espouses values that are often in conflict with the Word of God. In addition, our government has enacted laws, enforced and interpreted by the judicial system, that infringe upon our religious freedom despite the fact that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . .;” Consequently, we Christians are under pressure to avoid doing, saying, or teaching anything which someone might find offensive. In our society this often means we cannot talk openly about sin or morality nor can we claim that Almighty God is the only God, let alone that Jesus is the only Savior of mankind. 

Countless times in the past few years I have heard many Christians complain about the persecution we are undergoing here in America and about the bloody intolerance afflicting our brethren in Africa and Asia. Though we grieve over this, such hatred and opposition should not surprise to us: Jesus warned us that it would happen. He told this to His disciples because He knew was going to ascend to His Father and leave them. They did not fully understand what He was talking about and no doubt had questions and fears. Jesus sought to allay those fears by telling them that they would still be in communion with Him and the Father. They would pray to the Father in His Name and would be blessed with wisdom, guidance, answers, and strength. They would not lack anything they needed to carry out the work of Christ. The Holy Spirit would come upon them and enable them to do what the Lord desired of them.

We believers are filled by the same Holy Spirit. We too have access to all the resources of the Kingdom of God. We never have to worry or lack for anything. But we do. When we are in pain, in the midst of difficulties, or facing impossible choices, when we feel God is absent and far away, thinking He does not know or care what we are enduring, the Holy Spirit assures us by faith that He is in control. It is such steadfast faith even in the midst of terrible suffering that brings glory to the Lord.