If ever we needed to trust in God, it is now. We are living in a very solemn time. Things have changed so drastically in our world. Things have turned upside down with the reality of the COVID-19 crisis. So many deaths. So much controversy surrounding the vaccine and mandates. Our economy is out of control with inflation. The housing market has made it almost impossible for some to afford to buy or rent. Anxiety and depression are on the rise as never before. Some people are making difficult decisions based on their personal convictions only to experience persecution, mockery, job loss and fractured relationships. What are we to do? How are we to cope?

Trust in God. This is how we will best be able to cope. In John 16 we have a beautiful reminder of just why and how to trust in God during difficult times such as these. Jesus warned the disciples in advance not to be offended by what they would see and experience after he would leave them on this earth. I believe Jesus looked down through the ages, even to our very times today, giving us sound counsel. In verse 2 he foretells, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2). In other words, if you are a follower of Christ, times will get very tough. Jesus gives a most extreme scenario, but then reminds his disciples — and us today — of His precious Holy Spirit, the Comforter. He has sent us even today the Comforter:

“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.”

John 16:13 (NLT)

Jesus comforts us in John 16 with the power of prayer through our trials. We are promised that “...whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you…ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). What hope! Jesus wants to give us joy even while going through the fire. What precious promises as we go through these challenging times!

Jesus told His disciples that He was praying for them. We have a great High Priest in heaven praying for us today. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” There are no greater prayers on our behalf than those prayed by Jesus himself. Praise God! We are also told that we have a High Priest who can identify with our grief and pain in this life. Because of this, we can come “...boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

You may well have difficulties in your local church or house of worship. But you have been given advance warning. Remember His words. Don’t be surprised or caught off guard. Don’t jump ship! Don’t panic… we can trust in God. We can trust in His process. He will show His true followers the truth in every confusing situation. Jesus says that we will weep and lament in this life while everyone around us is rejoicing (John 16:20). But we know that our sorrow will, at some point, be turned into joy. Psalm 30:5 says, “...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” We can trust God through the agony of our trials during these present crises and beyond.

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Finally, Jesus says that He has spoken all of this that we all might have peace. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Because Jesus overcame, we shall overcome. We will eventually overcome the chaos of COVID-19. We will one day overcome death and despair in this world. Hold on. Trust God.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,"

Romans 8:35-38

Unless noted otherwise, scripture taken from the King James Version.

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