It is in the middle of trials when our faith is needed most.
I’ve heard variations on this many times, but the central idea is the same: our faith is needed less when things are going well and more when things are not.
When we suffer for Jesus, we can know He is not only honored, but He offers relief in the situation.
Jesus and his disciples are at the table where the Last Supper occurred. In just a few hours, Jesus would be betrayed and crucified for the payment of our sins. By this time tomorrow evening, Jesus would be dead and buried. And He’s thinking of His disciples. Jesus continues in John 16:7-11
Commenting on these verses, the late author and theologian R.C. Sproul wrote, “We are not driven to obey Christ in order to get in good with Him; we are driven to obey Christ by a heart that is filled with gratitude for the way He plucked us out of this world and poured His love out on us.” 
Jesus said in verse 7, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”
The importance of “the Advocate’s,” or Holy Spirit’s, arrival cannot be overstated. The Holy Spirit’s arrival signaled the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth in passages like Isaiah 11:1-3. It was a sign pointing to the identity of Jesus.
As Jesus went away, the Holy Spirit would come and fill the church and take the Gospel to the end of the world—despite incredible and persistent opposition. Do you realize the church of our Lord Jesus has grown THE MOST in the face of the GREATEST TRIBULATION?
The Lord declared through prophet Joel in 2:28-29: “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
The issue, dear brother or sister, is not will we suffer; it’s when we suffer. And when we suffer amid the grace of the master, we find relief in bringing Him glory. There is relief because of the blessing of the Holy Spirit who reminds us of our purpose in the Lord, the world’s need of the Lord, and the fact that we are imitating our Lord.
Jesus preaches a powerful, mini three-point sermon in verses 8-11, saying, “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
These verses can be a little difficult to understand, but Jesus is teaching us about suffering in His grace and finding relief. The Holy Spirit’s role in proving the world wrong about sin is because He teaches the world about their unbelief and convicts them of this sin. The goal is repentance and coming to Jesus.
In the Spirit’s role in righteousness, Jesus refers to God’s standard of being true and righteous. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of their lack of righteousness by testifying to the sinless perfection of the Father and Son. This points to the absolute necessity of the crucifixion and resurrection in bringing sinful humanity to sinless Holiness.
The third point Jesus makes about the Holy Spirit is His role in judgment. The verdict against the world is “guilty!” And it’s not just those humans refusing to believe in Jesus who stand condemned, but the Apostle is able to see the larger picture. Satan himself, “the prince of this world,” is condemned and defeated.
Satan may have won the battle with Judas.
And he will win the battle at the trial before Pilate.
Satan will win the battle with every hammer strike against those nails on the cross.
But Jesus, dear one, HAS WON THE WAR!
The enemy has been defeated!
We can suffer amid the grace of the Master because there IS relief. Jesus has won! No matter what this world or the devil himself throws at us, we have already won because of Him!! We must keep pushing through to the finish line.
Never ever forget we are not fighting for victory, but from victory, the victory of Jesus over death, Hell, and sin.
 R. C. Sproul, John, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009), 296.
As I was reflecting on this, a few other ideas came to mind.
Not to contradict, but to add to, not that you don’t already know this…
We need faith when we triumph as well. We need to be reminded of the source of our blessings and of the ways in which we should use those blessings.
We need faith when we are doing what God says, lest, like the pharisee praying with Himself, we begin to see our obedience in a light that elevates self rather than the one whom we are claiming to obey.
Again, great article. Thanks for the good work!
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