Cheer

Speaking plainly at last, Jesus predicted His ultimate victory.
This victory would not be one of symbols or images; it would be a real victory over real enemies in this very real world. The time for symbols alone was passing and the time had arrived for the realities they represented to be clearly seen.

“I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.”

Jesus longed for the day when the Holy Spirit would reside in the hearts and minds of the disciples, making the Father whom Jesus loved a present reality to them.

‘…the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world.
Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”

The disciples rejoiced in this.

“See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!”

Every teacher knows the moment of breakthrough when his/her students finally get what he or she has been saying all along. The wonderful epiphany of this night was the first of many—a lifetime of revelation by the power of the Holy Spirit. They claimed to believe.

“Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”

Not so fast!
Jesus was glad for this small victory, this promising breakthrough in their minds, but He knew the matter was not yet settled. Again, He had to bring them back to earth, to rescue them from their self-congratulation.

“Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone.”

As painful as the truth must have been, it had to be told. They had spoken brave words but impending circumstances would make them regret them. Like the agony facing Jesus, the victory on the other side of the pain facing Jesus was beyond their control. God was at work in the earth, undoing the work of Satan. This heavenly momentum was a work in progress. In many ways, the men were simply bystanders though certainly not innocent ones. When the test came, they would desert Him but Jesus would not be alone; He would be doing the will of the Father.

“And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

The Overcomer
In that moment, Jesus was not alone. When the soldiers invaded the garden of prayer and His men scattered in fear, the Father would remain with Him. The same was true in all the events of the Passion until the His final moments on the cross. Nailed there, however, Jesus was the most forsaken man who ever lived. Yet, in that moment of complete abandonment, He would overcome the world.

After that, He would never be alone again. The Father, the Spirit, the hosts of Heaven and the holy, blood-bought church would be His companions. Together, we share His astounding, marvelously complete victory.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

It has all proven true: tribulation, peace, victory, all in the name of Jesus.

Scriptures:
John 16:25-33

“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, because of You, I can face an often cheerless world with a cheerful song in my heart. Your passion, endured by You to rescue me from sin, and Your victory over sin, form the tune and rhythm of my heart-song. To think that You personally turned the sorrows of life into peace and cheer is the theme of my song. Help me sing it well and often. Give me listeners to hear my song as I sing Your story to my world. May failures on my part never hinder for long the music of my life. I know You will forgive and cleanse men and then play the introduction for me again when I repent and confess Your name. What joy, peace, and cheer I have to be in Your choir! Amen.

Song:
Rejoice the Lord Is King!

Words: Charles Wesley; Music: John Darwall

1. Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing, And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

2. Jesus, the Savior, reigns, The God of truth and love;
When He has purged our stains, He took his seat above;
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

3. His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell Are to our Jesus giv’n:
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

4. Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord and judge shall come
And take His servants up To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart, Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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