The Spirit Discipline: The Work of the Spirit

JOHN 16:5–11

Grief is a life-shaking sorrow over loss. It is a complex of emotions we experience when we lose someone or something that we value. In today’s verses the disciples come to the point of understanding that Jesus is going away, and they are “filled with grief.”

I understood a little of what that must have been like through the events that surrounded the death of my mother-in-law. Just before she died, she was a vibrant and youthful seventy-two-year-old. During the last couple of years of her life, there were symptoms that indicated that she was not doing well physically. She saw a doctor, was diagnosed and scheduled for surgery. We all anticipated that surgery would bring back her health and vitality. Instead, it took her life.

In her home were four portraits of her children, all painted when each child was three years old. That row of pictures on the wall was a family treasure. Now that she was gone, the portraits were to be separated for the first time in thirty years. Each family member came to take their portrait back to their own homes scattered across the Midwest. Watching those portraits being removed from the wall enhanced my grief. I felt the pain for a home that was no more.

The disciples grieved for a relationship with Jesus that was to be no more. He was going away. But Jesus offers hope in the midst of their pain. The promise of the Holy Spirit opens up new possibilities of spiritual intimacy and divine resources.

DISCIPLINE

Pain sometimes opens up new possibilities. Consider ways that God has used pain in your life to be a means of growth and blessing. Write out a prayer thanking God for his compassionate guidance and comfort. If you are in the midst of pain, perhaps you can’t see the fruit. Write out a prayer asking that God would allow you to trust him until he brings you through.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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