I've considered recycling this morning, but the Lord won't allow it. He keeps bringing me back to these verses.
Outcasts. That's what His disciples were. They were through to be against God and that by killing them they felt they were making an offering to God. How often have you felt like an outcast and no matter how you try to explain or even understand the reason for your being one, you just can't? How often have you asked "is there something I've said or done to warrant this?" How many times have you said "whatever it was, I'm sorry."
Not knowing that we've sinned against someone hurts. How do you ask forgiveness for something you are not aware of? Jesus warned His disciples about further persecution. He assured them they would not be left alone, but that the Holy Spirit would come. He knew what lay ahead and He did not want their faith shaken or destroyed.
God wants us to know that we are not alone. We have the Holy Spirit to comfort us, teach us truth and help us. Even though we may be outcasts, we are still His children. We still have a place in His Kingdom - we still have a place in Heaven. Yes, we may suffer terribly while here on earth. We may suffer physically, emotionally, mentally and sometimes spiritually - but we are not alone. We may be outcast from one group of people and accepted into another in the blink of an eye. We should learn from the mistakes we make that cause that in the first place. Allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten you and take the steps needed to return to that place of security and comfort where God is, where Jesus is...where you know you need to be.