By Pastor Shana Wise
Luke 12:49-53 NKJV, “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
· Definition of adversity: adverse or unfavorable fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress. an adverse or unfortunate event or circumstance. Definition of activate: to make active; cause to function or act.
· Verse 50, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with…”. Jesus demonstrated the concept of activation comes through adversity through his death, burial, and resurrection (His baptism). The events leading up to his crucifixion were adverse. His death and burial activated the Holy Spirit to raise him from the dead. This ultimate demonstration gives us an understanding of why we must endure hardships, trials, and tribulation-they all lead to some type of activation (faith, prayer, worship, forgiveness, etc.).
· In verses 51-53, what comes to mind when you hear these verses? I believe that it is Jesus challenging us in our relationship with him. To be sanctified means to be separated for a special purpose. Disciples of Christ are sanctified, and with this sanctification, it naturally attracts a certain type of adversity. Meaning the testing that we must endure has a special purpose. This purpose will ultimately bring glory to God.
· Most of all our adversity will come through our relationships with others and moreover within our families. Think about all the testing and trying situations that you have been through in your life; would you agree most of them came from within your family?
John 15:18-27, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
· Have you ever had someone who did not like you and they didn’t even know you? Have you had someone treat you badly and all you have been is good to them? What about because of your faith and convictions in Jesus Christ, it causes strife and division in your family, work, and other areas?
· This verse helps us to stop playing the victim every time we go through persecution. Jesus is clearly letting us know that the reason we go through adversity is because of His name.
· Definition of persecution: the act or practice of persecuting especially those who differ in origin, religion, or social outlook 2 the condition of being persecuted, harassed, or annoyed.
Notice in the definition that persecution is an “action” that is taking place against you. This “action” plays a role in our response and ultimately the “activation” of our faith and purpose.
John 16:1-4, “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things, I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.
“And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
· Jesus does not want us to stumble as we are going through the adversity of persecution. Many times, we take so many things personal from another people-we get in our feelings. We must remember that it is not about us, rather it is about who we are. In verse 4, Jesus does not want us to forget that the persecution is happening to us because “they” do not worship God.
John 15: 26-27 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
· During our trying times of persecution, Jesus wants us to know that we have a Helper and his name is Holy Spirit. He will help us to endure the testing of our faith.
· He is also referred to as the Spirit of Truth. As we learn and depend on the Holy Spirit through our adversity, He will reveal the truth about what is going on. In the flesh, it is hurtful, we don’t understand, and all other feelings arise-however, we serve a God who does not move on feelings, rather he moves on faith. Through the Spirit of Truth, he will reveal the nature of the adversity because he wants us to respond in the Spirit rather than the flesh.
John 16:21, A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
· This verse is another great example of the concept of activation comes through adversity. If any women have experience childbirth, she knows the pain that comes along with the process. The labor, pain and adversity, activates the birth- life.
· We have all experienced, the pains of life. Many of those pains have been so strong that they have shaken our faith to the core. Yet, when we look back over our life, we know that Jesus brought us or is bringing us through the pain.
· We never know how strong we are until we go through something so painful and we lived to tell the story to someone else! God will use our pain for His glory. It is all about the testimony that is going to come forth-and that testimony may save someone else’s life!
4. Peace through the Holy Spirit
John 16:33, These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Acts1:8, But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
· Adversity will activate The Prince of Peace in our lives. Jesus overcame the world and because of this, we can find peace in the midst of adversity.
· In Mark 4:35-41, we see Jesus the disciples on a boat and a great storm came (adversity). The disciples thought that they were going to parish but Jesus woke up and rebuked the storm by saying Peace be Still (activation). The storm (adversity) had to arise for the Prince of Peace to display his power over it!
· This same power is available to us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus has given us power through His Spirit to overcome adversity. He is bringing us to an understanding of the functioning of The Kingdom of God-knowing that ALL things are working for our good (Rom 8:28). God uses adversity to activate our faith in him!
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election (available on Amazon). She received a doctor of divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.