Trouble, by definition means a problem or difficulty. It’s not hard to understand the meaning intellectually but then when we find ourselves trying to move the pegs of our lives and it comes the reality becomes much harder. There are times we don’t want to play the game of life (don’t get me started on THAT one!) and we’d prefer to stay in bed and pull the covers over our head!
Jesus’ disciples had the same sort of experiences themselves. They would get discouraged, doubt, have fear. Many had given up their livelihood, were ostracized by society and so struggled.
We read the hope and assurance Jesus offered to them in John 14:1-6. He said to them: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
As I’ve been looking at our study on joy and the book of Philippians, I’ve been thinking about Heaven which speaks to our final destination. That is a hope that helps through bad days. We who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior don’t need to worry regardless of how bad things get. That is the assurance he gave his disciples in this passage and extends to those who are his disciples today.
Even more than that, Jesus also said: “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. You know the way to the place where I am going."
We have hope based on the assurance he has not only prepared a place for us but he’s coming again. When he comes back, everything will be made right.
But doubt creeps in at times, especially when things get tough.
The disciple Thomas doubted; he wasn’t sure. So he asked Jesus: "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Here is perhaps one of the most profound statements of the whole New Testament, but the one that gets those of us who say there is only one way to Heaven into trouble.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus himself, great teacher, man of compassion, kind and loving person he was, states categorically if you want to get to Heaven, its only through him.
No other way…not by your good deeds…not by being a good person…not by hoping you go…..no, only through him. But also, be THANKFUL you won’t be measured based on your works, good deeds or faithfulness…most of us would fall WAY short. Again, hope based on the assurance that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.
He has gone to prepare a place for us, that’s what Good Friday and Easter are about. Through Jesus death, burial and yes, resurrection, he made this possible.
We can take hope from the assurance he gives us. If you lack hope, you lack assurance. Look at your relationship with Jesus. Do you have one? If not, if you’re not sure, then get one. Find someone, or message me and we can make sure you have a hope based on the assurance of Jesus Christ. When that happens, you won’t worry again.
Will you be concerned when you look outside and see the reality of our topsy-turvy world? Sure, we all are. But you won’t worry because there’s a room in Heaven waiting for you, all prepared: pillow fluffed, temperature just perfect, fuzzy robe on the bed, awesome view….waiting.