We begin to truly flourish when we come to know the heart of Abba Father in our own hearts. When our lived experience allows us to taste the Father's love and compassion for us we become enabled to see the God's signs more readily around us. Our pain, sorrow and suffering can become gateways to discovering the heart of the Father and we need to be very gentle with ourselves in the process.
John 15:18-16:4 (NLT)
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.
16 “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. 2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. 3 This is because they have never known the Father or me. 4 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.
For your reflection and prayer:
As you listened, was there a word, a phrase, an image, or something else that stood out to you? Notice what it stirs in you. Have a conversation with Jesus about this.
This text might evoke painful memories of hatred. Be very gentle and compassionate with yourself as they arise. Simply ask God for what you need and share the longings of your heart for healing in you or a situation.
Slowly savor any consoling words or images which God gives you in this time of prayer. Simply rest in God’s presence with them.