Sermon Summary – John 17:9-16
In these verses Jesus prays that the Father will protect the disciples through his name. Looking ahead at all they suffered (all but one were martyred), what does it mean that the Father protected them? This same question is relevant for us: in the light of the trouble Christians face in this life how does God protect us?
- By assuring us of his goodness through giving us his Son. (Rom 8:32) This changes the way we look at hardship. (Heb 12:7)
- By enabling us to persevere in our faith (Romans 5:10) – All who truly have faith in Christ cannot lose their salvation by accident or through weakness.
- By protecting us against our enemies, the devil, the World and the flesh and also against the broken creation around us. He protects us from them in 3 ways:
a) Providentially – setting limits on the power of Satan and the World, frustrating their plans and turning them to good purposes (2 Cor 4:7-10, Gen 50:20)). He also compassionately and providentially arranges the lives of his children with special care.
b) Miraculously – God can and does intervene miraculously in the lives of his people to protect them from evil.
c) Spiritually – The Holy Spirit enables us to experience deep joy and peace despite our circumstances. (Phil 4: 6-7, 2 Cor 8:1-4) It is our right as God’s children to ask him for this spiritual help when we face troubles of all kinds.
- Ask God to help you trust his goodness as Father and make known Jesus’ intercession for you.
- Take comfort when your faith is weak.
- Tell the enemy “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good!”
- When bad things happen it doesn’t mean you’re out of God’s will or that you lack faith.
- Don’t expect an easy life, face difficulty with maturity and confidence.
- Don’t focus on God’s providential care so much that you forget to ask for miracles. Don’t focus on his miracles so much that you fail to see his providential care. (2 Cor 12:8-9)
- Pray. Jesus told us to pray for protection, so we must.