“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Where do people get the idea that if you follow Jesus you can expect a life that is free from failure, disappointment, and loss?
This is exactly the opposite of what Jesus says. Jesus confronts His disciples with the realities of life. “In this world you will have trouble” (16:33). He establishes their hope in another world.
If your hope is established in this world, you will be shattered by failure, disappointment, and loss. What are you going to do when you experience a loss that cannot be replaced in this world, a disappointment that remains for a lifetime, or a failure that changes the course of your life?
In John 14, Jesus is establishing His disciples in a faith that can stand through the misery of personal failure, the sorrow of gut-wrenching disappointment, and the pain of irreplaceable loss.
To do that, Christ establishes their hope in another world. That’s core to the gospel. “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Cor. 15:19). Here’s our hope: “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (15:20). Jesus’ answer to our experience of failure, disappointment, and loss lies in the Father’s house.
Don’t we have the Holy Spirit now? Doesn’t Christ say that the Spirit is with you and in you? The Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.
Where is your hope? Is it based in this world or in the world to come?