Indeed the hour is coming . . . that you will be scattered . . . —John 16:32
Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.
“. . . you . . . will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental
“. . . be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.
from My Utmost for His Highest
I’d to point a few verses from John 16.
6: “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled you heart.”
20: “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
32: “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
Mother Theresa spent a significant portion of her life with struggles of faith and with something of a long-lasting spiritual drought. She didn’t feel spiritual joy or an overwhelming urge to shout ‘Hallelujah!’ The emotion, the zeal, the passion; it simply wasn’t there. But Mother Theresa knew what was right, and she spent her life working for a God that she constantly doubted. Can we still serve God without the emotion? We know our gift is in Heaven… but without an immediate benefit of dopamine within our brains, would we still worship God? Could we still sing Sunday mornings, if it didn't make us happy? Would we have the strength to say “Hallelujah?”