Friday - CLARITY


Richard Harris

Today’s Scripture: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, NLT

Theme: Our confidence doesn’t come from our changing circumstances, but from an unchanging God.


We have all learned to follow the teachings of our family, teachers, preachers, bosses, mentors or leaders in the rank and file of today’s continuum of learning. In the areas where we applied things learned with passion, we became disciples to those we trusted and followed. Did they choose us, or did we choose them?

There have been many times I thought I had clearly understood the methods taught and the reasons behind their wise words. But it wasn’t until I was given the ability to emulate their actions with positions of leadership that I gained the true knowledge of application. Those teachers knew what lay ahead. They guided me in such a way that I became comforted by the truth taught. A true disciple is not just a student or a learner, but a follower – one who applies what they have learned, carrying on the mission.


To put it in biblical context, the disciples went through the same learning curve as Jesus groomed them to carry on the mission. There were times they had confusion – yes, even doubts – about the words they were receiving. Jesus was preparing these chosen followers for when they would be without Him. He assured them that they would not be left alone, but that the Spirit would come. Their Mentor knew what lay ahead.


Today, committed Christians fully understand the meaning of Jesus’ words given at the Last Supper. We know what He meant when He said, “This is my body, which is given for you.... This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:19-20, ESV). We understand that we have the Gospel because He came to be sacrificed for our sins. We have that clarity of hindsight.

Let’s go back to the Upper Room on that last night. What were the thoughts of the eleven who sat with Jesus as He gave those beautiful words of encouragement? The disciples did not clearly understand how the Holy Spirit would be leading them in the right direction. When Jesus declared that He has “overcome the world,” he meant that He would overcome Satan and all sin. The disciples may have thought that Jesus was about to lead an army of believers to the ultimate victory against all those who opposed the new covenant. Jesus was telling them, and us today, that becoming a Christian does not guarantee life will be easy. Following Him can lead to persecution (John 16:1-4). Christ has gained the ultimate victory, and nothing can undo it (Romans 8:38-39). Hard times will always come (John 15:20-21), and God is fully aware of everything, never taken by surprise. These experiences are all a part of God’s plan and will lead to eternal peace. Jesus knew all that as He pointed out that we all must trust God to work out His will.

John, probably the youngest of the disciples, was the only one to live out his life to an old age. The others were martyred for overcoming the world. They all learned that persecution, because of their faith, is inevitable. All of them, less Judas the betrayer, grew to understand the clarity of Jesus’ words, and did not abandon their discipleship of Him.

Make It Personal: To become a confident disciple, ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?"

Pray: Almighty and unchanging Lord, as disciples of Your teachings, we pray for the strength and clarity of mission to keep pace while we walk the path of Your son, Jesus. Help us to make informed and healthy decisions for our actions. We understand that trials and sorrows are an integral part of gaining Your eternal peace. We pray this in the name of the One whose body and blood paved that way for us. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Read: John 15:16 NLT, John 17: 1-26 NLT

Weekly Memory Verse: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11, ESV