The Spirit Will Help You SpeakDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 13 is sometimes called “The Olivet Discourse” because Jesus delivered it on the Mount of Olives (13:3). Others call this chapter Jesus’ “Apocalyptic Discourse” because it reveals what will happen in the end times. (The word “apocalyptic” comes from a Greek word that means “uncovered” or “revealed.”)
In those times, followers of Jesus will be persecuted. They will be beaten and tried in legal courts. “But,” Jesus said, “when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit” (13:11). What a strong word of reassurance!
Today, millions upon millions of Christians live in countries that limit the free exercise of their faith. Every year, thousands of followers of Jesus experience the very sort of thing he talked about in Mark 13. In the midst of persecution and legal trials, they are empowered by the Spirit to speak with truth and power. This does not mean, however, that their words always lead to their exoneration and release. In today’s world, Christians suffer martyrdom every year because of their witness to Jesus. Nevertheless, in death as in life, they glorify God through their faithful witness.
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would help those who were being tried because of their faith in him. This is also true for those of us who face lesser challenges. When people ask us why we are Christians, or when they criticize us for our faith, the Spirit helps us to speak truthfully and graciously. This good news gives us confidence to be open about our faith, even in environments that are hostile to Christianity. When we risk telling people about Jesus, his Spirit helps us to speak with truth and power.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When has the Holy Spirit helped you to communicate your faith? How does the promise of Jesus encourage you? Are there contexts in your life where you are especially aware of needing the Spirit’s help as you seek to talk about your faith?
PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank you for helping us know that the life of faith is not an easy one. Thank you for warning us in advance that persecutions and trials are coming. You have prepared us to be faithful to you even in the face of difficulties and threats.
Thank you, dear Lord, for the promise of the Spirit. How grateful we are that you have not left us alone, but have given us divine resources. Even if we never go on trial for our faith, we can be confident that your Spirit will help us as we bear witness to you. What blessed assurance this is!
Today, we are reminded to pray for our brothers and sisters who are experiencing the kind of persecution you described in Mark 13. May your Spirit help those who are on trial for their faith. Give them confidence, boldness, and the ability to speak the truth. Encourage them, reassure them, give them and their families your peace that passes all understanding. In your name we pray, Amen.
Helping Employees Fulfill Their Dreams
The TV show Undercover Boss gives employers a unique opportunity to spend a few days in their employees' shoes. CEOs and Presidents of large and successful companies go undercover and do the work of people who work on the front line every day. Through this experience, the employer often gets the chance to hear the dreams of their employees firsthand. Hearing the hopes and dreams those employees have for their families, their futures, and themselves often becomes the catalyst for the employer to help make those dreams come true.
Not every employer gets a chance to spend a day in an employee's shoes, but each employer/employee relationship is worthy of faithful and compassionate stewardship. Every interaction is an opportunity to lead from the soul. In this series, Helping Employees Fulfill Their Dreams, we'll explore what it means to lead from the soul in our relationships with our employees, even if we never make it on a television reality show.
Featured image above by Helgi Halldórsson. Used with Permission. Via Flickr.