If you have been struggling with anxiety or stress—I encourage you to read the wonderful words of Jesus in John 14. As I read this chapter, I felt peace, hope, and joy flood through my spirit. His words were so comforting. It was like a refreshing drink on a hot day.
Don’t worry or surrender to your fear. For you’ve believed in God, now trust and believe in me also. My Father’s house has many dwelling places. If it were otherwise, I would tell you plainly, because I go to prepare you a place to rest. As I read these few words, I pictured Jesus talking to His friends and me. I heard Him encourage them not to worry or surrender to their fears, because they have believed in God and now they could trust and believe in Him also. At this point, I simply gave Him back all my worries and concerns. My adult children and their various parenting, health and life challenges; my own health and its struggles; the cares of those I am close too; plus the culture concerns etc–I just released them back into His care. What a relief I felt.
When I came to the place, I go to prepare you a place to rest. I thought, oh my, how wonderful. It is ok to get tired in this world, because we will have a special place already prepared for us to rest when we get to heaven. Can you hear His voice sharing this with His disciples? Imparting words of hope, life and strength, understanding that they really did not need to worry or be afraid. He is speaking those same words to each of us, even today.
And when everything is ready, I will come back and take you to myself so you will be where I am. Won’t that be amazing? When everything is ready—not sure how or what that looks like in heaven? Do you? The God who spoke the universe into being is taking time to prepare a place for us. Do you think our loved ones who have gone on before are helping prepare for us? This is all a mystery to me, but somehow so comforting.
Life is full of challenges for us all. Take a moment to reflect again on Jesus’ Words: Don’t worry or surrender to your fear (The Passion Translation) Or the more familiar: Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. (ESV) The Amplified Version: Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. Can you picture Jesus speaking those words directly to you this day? He is. He is telling us to not be afraid, discouraged or downhearted. He is telling us to look up and remind us that the trials of this life will pass away. He understands them and wants to help us with them. Do you find yourself today at the tipping point between faith and fear? I encourage you to choose faith. It is a much better choice!
Father, I thank you for loving us, and for the Words of encouragement we find in Your Word. Thank you for helping us embrace them and believe them. I thank you for your strength, vision, and encouragement as we walk through life’s challenges. In Jesus’ precious Name. Amen