John 16:1 – These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

It should be no surprise that the “world” hates true believers. The system of the world is against all that God has established. The three major systems of the world that resist God’s plan and purposes are Governments, which are driven by ego and pride to control people, Economics, which is driven by greed and separates classes of people, and Religion, which seeks to oppress the masses through fear and domination. God the Father has His plan, called “The Kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God is ruled by a benevolent Father through His Son who is full of grace and truth and the Holy Spirit from whom flows righteousness, peace, and joy.

What a contrast between God’s kingdom and the world’s systems dominated by the kingdom of darkness under Satan’s control. Jesus defeated those systems through His overcoming life. He sent His Holy Spirit to overcome those systems through “Spirit-filled and Spirit-led believers.” The world will persecute us as they did the Lord and the early church. Jesus warned His disciples concerning the times in which they lived. His word of truth rings true in our day as well. Those disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, squared off against the powers of hell manifested through the systems of men and overcame even unto death.

Many of God’s people stumble when affliction and persecution comes, because they have not read or have not believed the words of Jesus. Our Lord wants to keep us from stumbling, but we must accept His word and be filled with His Holy Spirit in order to stand. Paul expressed it this way, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13-14).  We live in an evil day, but the enemy’s time is short. His complete defeat is near. Jesus judged him in His victory on the cross and overcame Satan in the power of His resurrection. His church is commissioned with the assignment of cleaning up the mess. As His servants, we are to declare to the world the freedom Christ has made possible from the kingdom of darkness. The Holy Spirit makes available to every believer overcoming power to live above the system of this world.

Believe the words of Jesus as given to His first disciples. Be prepared to be persecuted for His Name’s sake. Be filled with His Holy Spirit and stand firm, resisting in the evil day. Lord, grant me grace to stand and not stumble. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit every day. Use me to demonstrate Your overcoming life in the power of Your Holy Spirit and lead others to Your victory.