I am sure that at some time in your life, these words of Jesus brought you comfort…
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14: 1 NIV
The New King James Version puts it this way, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”
These comforting words were originally shared with the disciples during a sobering night of discussion. Concern, fear and anxiety clutched their hearts and minds. Lined impressions of pain furrowed the foreheads of every man in the room. Jesus had revealed that he would soon be betrayed by one of their own. This bitter act of betrayal would lead to his death. Jesus exhorted his friends and followers that a difficult life journey would begin soon; very soon.
The agony of Gethsemane was mere hours away. The horrifying crucifixion would follow. Jesus offered Himself as their comfort and peace ahead of time. No one in the upper room would envision the sublime peace they would desperately need within the hours and days that loomed ahead. Jesus ministered to his friends despite what lay ahead for Him.
Jesus exhorted his friends to keep their hearts in check. In times of desperation, the heart, soul and mind can drown in a sea of confusion. Loss, betrayal and abandonment have the potential to sink us; for good. Jesus asked his disciples to hold on to Him and continue to trust and believe in His promises. Jesus asked his friends to refuse to be capsized when everything they observed, everything they understood, and everything they hoped for on earth was cast away. Jesus asked his friends to cling to Him as their life preserver and sustaining hope despite the difficulties and despite their fears. For as they trusted and depended upon Him in the middle of this horrific life event, the disciples of Jesus would be able to encourage others to trust and depend and hold on to Jesus as well.
For isn’t it true that when some one goes through some kind of catastrophic life event and they continue to trust and believe in the hope and love of their Savior, we are encouraged by their example of faith to do the same?
Now, often times, we stop with this verse and are encouraged. However, I don’t want to do that today. Look at the following words that Jesus shared with his friends and shares with us…
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14: 2-3 NIV
First, Jesus addressed the present concern of his friends.
Next, Jesus offered an invitation to come to his house one day. He was going away to build and prepare it for them.
For the man who was born at a time where no room was available or was offered to his parents or to him, Jesus Christ offers a multitude of rooms to every one who calls upon His name. There is an incredible, welcoming and eternal accommodation awaiting the friends and followers of Jesus.
There is room.
In fact, there is more than enough room in the house of the Father.
Yes, friends, there is trouble in this world; big-time trouble. This is the kind of trouble that can sink us into a pit of despair and utter confusion. It’s the kind of trouble that causes exclusion, bullying, injury, disease, marital discord, family brokenness, betrayal, job loss and death. In the middle of this confusing mess, stands Jesus Christ ready to offer his comfort, his care and his peace and ultimately His house.
Pisteute is the Greek transliterated word for believe and trust. Jesus asks that we not only believe and trust in God but believe and trust in Him for our comfort and our peace. For it is through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we are brought into the presence of our Father. Together, they will address our need and carry us through the sea of pain, loss and confusion of life.
And one day, when our days on earth are done, Jesus Christ will come. He will take us to a room in the house of God, our Father in Heaven designed and made ready just for us. And we’ll love it!
Too often we focus our eyes on the pains and troubles of our present times. We fail to remember that this life is not all there is for the disciples of Jesus Christ. As followers and friends of Christ, we will live with Him one day for ever and ever and ever in joy, in love and in peace.
Jesus didn’t have a room on earth when he arrived. His parents settled for a stable. Jesus won’t let that happen for us. He is preparing a place for us; our very own room in His house. And we’ll all be housemates!
For me, who straddles two continents and two homelands, I cannot wait until I am brought together again with all of my family and friends. What a house party we’re going to have! Like I said, I cannot wait!
So, let’s not be troubled about the concerns of life. They may be bad. I get that. However, they are temporary and Jesus is with us in them; caring, comforting, sustaining, strengthening and loving. I am not about to let these things get me down or sink me.
I’m getting ready for a big house party!
Photo by Mr. Printable of Flickr