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Spiritual Endurance Worksheet

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Spiritual Endurance Worksheet #1:

Questions #15: "In the World you will have trouble, but be not dismayed for I have overcome the world."

John 16:33 is an oft-quoted verse that most people are familiar with; however, there is much more truth in this passage than is generally recognized. This is the final discourse of Jesus to the disciples before praying to His heavenly Father in chapter seventeen. In this verse, Jesus left the disciples with something important to ponder during the end of His stay on earth. It is a worthwhile endeavor to consider what Jesus communicated to His disciples.

First, it is important to realize that this verse begins by stating there will be trouble in this world. This is often a very unpopular viewpoint. However, a representative of Voice of the Martyrs recently pointed out when John 16:33 talks about Christians having trouble in this world, it is actually a promise of God. She noted this is the only promise in God's Word that you will never see in a "claim your promises" book! Although the necessity of Christian suffering is a minority viewpoint, it is nevertheless the Biblical one and a promise from God (2 Timothy 3:12).

Next we must ask, "Why is understanding Christian suffering so important?" Unless we understand this truth, we are likely to believe we are not serving God right because the world hates us. Indeed, I have recently heard several preachers saying that the church is failing because the world hates Christianity. This sounds very reasonable until you consider that Jesus made it clear that true discipleship involves the world's hatred (John 17:14). John Wesley even questioned whether or not he was right with God near the end of his life because he was not being persecuted by those around him, which is a foreign thought to those who have not studied the Bible carefully on this issue. We must understand that hatred from the world is a part of the Christian life.

Although the first part of this verse is often overlooked, the second part is also important and often misunderstood; Jesus has overcome the world! Jesus' statement is especially fascinating considering the context of this Scripture passage: Jesus had not yet even gone to the cross! Jesus understood the essence of faith; "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction



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