Fresh Hope – 16th March 2018

Jesus couldn’t tell the disciples everything that was on His heart. In John 16:12 He said, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”

What did Jesus mean by, “You cannot bear them now”? Jesus was saying that their ability to carry a new revelation, and task from God was insufficient at that point. The realities of what Jesus wanted to speak out was far too big for them to handle and would essentially crush them. They had some more maturing of character to do before they could go deeper, go further, and go higher.

Our ability to handle more has a lot to do with the capacity of our character. Character enables us to receive the promises of God without taking glory for ourselves, or without damaging ourselves and others. Often we ask God for the more, the bigger, and the better, but is our character ready for it?

It is not uncommon for most people who win the lottery to actually end up in more of a financial mess than before they were given piles of money. This is usually because they did not have the capacity, or character to manage what was given to them and it inevitably crushed them.

Would you give a baby a knife and ask them to make a salad? Probably not! Some more maturing is obviously required before that baby can handle a knife without damaging themselves, let alone be effective at the task! Would you promote a 13 year old to CEO of a company expecting them to not be crushed with the task at hand? Of course not! Would you tell a reckless three year old where you have hidden the secret sweet stash? No, because you know that they do not yet have the ability to manage their appetite.

In the words of Christine Caine, ‘if the spotlight on you is greater than the light IN you – it will destroy you!’.

Likewise, God cannot entrust you to handle deeper understandings, impart greater gifts, and give you more influencial jobs to do on his behalf, if your character isn’t ready to handle  what it would entail. God is not withholding good, He is simply looking after you. Sometimes, it would only do you harm than good.

This is why we should embrace opportunities for character growth – because it is essentially the gateway for promotion in the kingdom of God! Romans 5:4 says, that trials produce proven character, and proven character produces hope!

When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples to sharpen their character and enlarge their capacity in a whole new way. This is why Jesus said, ‘It is to your advantage that I go…” John 14:26.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit enables us to understand more of who God is, mold our character, and take on more that He has for us. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

Let this change the way we see our weaknesses and trials, for God is preparing us for the bigger and better!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.