John 14:1-4 NIV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Our Hearts are Troubled
What kinds of things trouble our hearts? We, as believers in Jesus, have unsaved loved ones. We long to see them turn their hearts to Jesus. We are grieved over them and their refusal to surrender their hearts to the Lord. For, we know their refusal will land them in hell, not heaven.
Those who have not surrendered their lives to Jesus, some of whom claim to have faith in Jesus, may trouble us through persecution, rejection, opposing the truth of the gospel, and attacking us for our stand on the truth, etc. Jesus went through that, as did Paul and the other apostles.
Also, as we see the world getting more evil as the days go by, we may be troubled over all the evil we are seeing daily in the news or on social media, or perhaps even in our personal relationships with others in how they treat us, or in how they treat those we love.
Also, as we see how the gospel has not only been watered down, and altered, but how it is now being turned upside down to where evil is now spoken of as being good, and good is now being spoken of as evil, it grieves our hearts, too.
For some, the year 2020 has been a troublesome year with all the news of a pandemic, and of people dying, and of having to wear masks, and of having to social distance from others, and having to not be able to gather with family and friends or with your local church fellowship.
It can especially be troublesome if you are one who believes that so much of what is going on in the world is not what it appears to be, but that so much of it is orchestrated and scripted, and that it all has a sinister plot that is being followed and carried out, so you know you are being lied to.
Overcome with Sorrow
So, should we grieve over the lost? Yes! Should it concern us that so many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are living the opposite of what they profess? Yes! Should opposition to the gospel concern us, too? Yes! Should all the evil in the world disturb us, as well? Yes!
So, it is not wrong for us to grieve or to be concerned about certain things. It is not even wrong for us to cry or to feel emotional or physical pain when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. But then we should rejoice.
For, Jesus, when he knew he was going to be put to death for the sins of the world, began to be sorrowful and troubled. His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow (deeply grieved) to the point of death. Jesus cried to the Father to have the cup of suffering taken from him, which he knew was coming, if it would be possible, yet he submitted to the will of the Father (Matt 26:37-42).
And Paul pleaded with the Lord three times to have his thorn in the flesh removed, but the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Then Paul also submitted to the will of God (2 Co 12:6-10).
So, we should not worry over such things or be fearful so as to not trust in God with the circumstances of our lives. But there are certain things which should grieve us and concern us, but we have to not let them concern us to the point to where we are fearful. We must keep trusting the Lord.
We must surrender our lives and our circumstances over to the will of God, and we must trust in God’s sovereignty over all things. When we are in pain, emotionally and/or physically, we need to take it to the Lord in prayer, and trust him to work it all out, and then the peace will come.
He’s Preparing a Place
So, I believe the encouragement here is to not let our hearts continue to be troubled to the point to where we have no hope, or to where we become fearful, and to where we lose our faith in the Lord and in his promises. We should not wallow in our misery, in other words.
When we are suffering and/or grieving, we need to do what Jesus and Paul did. We need to take it to the Lord in prayer. And then we need to let the Lord encourage our hearts. For, this world is temporary. It is not our permanent home. We are just passing through on our way to heaven.
The Lord has placed us on this earth, though, for a purpose, and for a period of time. So, for each of us who have committed our lives to him, he has something he wants to do. So, we need to find out what that is and then do it. For, time is short, and many people need to be saved.
So, we need to remain eternity focused. We need to have our minds fixed on what is from above, not on the things on this earth. We should not allow ourselves to get caught up in the things of this world. We are not to get entangled in civilian affairs, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
We shouldn’t be so focused on our Lord’s return, though, that we are not doing the work he has called us to do while we are still on this earth. Yes, we should be watching and waiting, but we should still be doing the work to which he has called us and has equipped us until he takes us home.
The main thing here, while we still live on the earth, is to keep the perspective in mind of God’s eternal kingdom. We are not here to help build earthly kingdoms or to put our trust and hope in human kings (rulers). Our hope needs to be in our only King, Jesus Christ, and in his promises.
And then we can live at peace even in this troubled world. And when we suffer, we submit to the will of God, and we let him be our comfort and our joy. He should be our best friend, and at times he may be our only friend if others reject us because of our testimony for Jesus and for his gospel.
The Kingdoms of Earth Pass Away
Lyrics by Henry R. Trickett, 1887
Music by James H. Fillmore, 1887
The kingdoms of earth pass away one by one,
But the kingdom of heaven remains;
It is built on a rock and the Lord is its King,
And forever and ever He reigns.
The tempest may rage and its anger acclaim,
Yea, the wind and the torrents may roar,
And the strong gates of hell may assail it in vain,
Still the kingdom shall stand ever more.
The kingdom of God is now open to all,
E’en the vilest may now enter in;
There’s a welcome for all who will turn to the Lord,
Full salvation and pardon for sin.
Chorus: It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever and ever,
It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever. Amen and Amen.
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