When Christ ascended to Heaven, He promised He’d send the Holy Spirit to them. He knew the Spirit would be in a better position to divulge bitter truths to them because they would not be able to bear them at that particular time (John 16:13).
Why did Christ do that? It is because the Spirit is also called “the comforter.” He knew the ability of the Holy Spirit to help and comfort us in our dark times. The Holy Spirit can make Christians pass through pain without complaints. Christ was able to endure the cross with the help of the Holy Spirit (Hebrew 9:14).
What is this bitter truth that Christ has entrusted the Holy Spirit to communicate? According to Christ, Christians would be rejected and killed, and the killers would justify their actions as a service to God.
Christ gave us the preambles of what would happen to us so that we would not be surprised. The revelation that John received on the Island of Patmos clearly tells us that if we sincerely worship God, we will endure persecution. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you; the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown” (Revelation 2:10).
Christ did not inform the apostles that most of them would be killed — but the Holy Spirit helped them endure many persecutions, even to the point of death. Many of us today have received the Holy Spirit, but whether all have received the bitter truth from Him is what I cannot really say. The Apostle Paul received the same revelation: “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16).
Christian suffering is inevitable. Globally, every day we are persecuted, marginalized, intimidated, and even killed for no other reason than believing in Christ. Instead of running away from the cup that is set before us, let us face it squarely and pray for the will of God to be done.
Hearing the bitter truth from the Holy Spirit will be of immense help to us. We should not forget these words: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).