Read John 15:18-16:15 18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but 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 also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. A consolation prize is often given to the runner up or to the winner of the “losers’ bracket” in a competition. It is given to, at least partially, console an individual or team for not winning the top prize. Sometimes I think that is how we view faith and the Holy Spirit. Our hearts get set on a life filled with all the joys this world might have to offer: good health, financial security, fulfilling relationships, personal success, recognition and approval from others, and no strife. When those things don’t fall in place, we may treat faith, salvation, and the Holy Spirit like a consolation prize. “There was so much more that I hoped for, but at least my faith and the Holy Spirit can help me through the difficulty of not receiving what my heart desires.” It seems Jesus wants the disciples to see the Holy Spirit as a completely different consolation. He is about to win the ultimate victory through his death and resurrection. Through this, the disciples are going to be champions with him because he makes his victory their victory. This will not eliminate their experiences of brokenness in this world. In fact, because they are Jesus’ disciples, the world will attack their faith and heap on more trials. Jesus reworks the hearts and minds of his followers. Their consolation is not in the platitudes and praises of men, nor in the pleasantries or possessions of this world. Those things are not true victories, but only work to pacify us in the midst of a sinful world. Instead, Jesus gives to all his disciples (including each of us) true consolation for our sin-broken lives. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, helps us cling in faith to the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus. Prayer: Lord, let me not be discouraged by the trials in this world nor when attacked because of my faith in you. Instead, send your Holy Spirit as a help and comfort to keep me steadfast in true faith. Amen.