"I have told you this so that you may not fall away" (John 15:28).
May is graduation month. Commencement speakers across the country will attempt to inspire, instruct and entertain tens of thousands of university, college and high school seniors as they move up and out on their life journeys.
Jesus brings a touch of realism to his final words to his disciples. "The road ahead will be long and arduous, and you will encounter stiff resistance, even violence, from some who oppose the message you are to bring." Jesus warns them in advance so that they will not be surprised when it happens, but be prepared to move forward, making use of adversity to strengthen their resolve rather than fold in fear and discouragement.
What he promises them is that their Teacher, the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus and the Father, will be right there with them every step of the way, whispering reassurance and wisdom, empowering them to find creative solutions to every obstacle, giving meaning to their suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
With every breath we take today, the same Holy Spirit will be there for us. With every step we take, the word will be a lamp at our feet, lighting the way. God keeps every promise and, no matter what happens, remember what Jesus told you, and everything will be blessed.