Today’s post is written by my friend, *Pam.* Thanks, Pam!
John 14:1-4 “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. 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.”
When my heart is troubled it usually involves fear, and the object of my fear is typically something out of my control. Since I can’t do anything, I fret instead. But I should know better, because putting fear in its place—at the foot of the cross—was the first real lesson I learned as a new Christian many years ago.
I had gotten involved in a denomination with strict legal tendencies. Theologians consider it a cult or an ism. As a seeker, I was attracted to how the members of this church lived out their faith seven days a week. They seemed more sure of their beliefs and more committed to them than any church-goers I had ever seen. I was convinced that they, alone, had a handle on the truth, and I wanted what they had.
Meanwhile, Christians who knew me were praying for me and challenging my new beliefs. I studied diligently in an attempt to ward off these spoilers. Instead, I came to a point of inner confusion and turmoil as God revealed His truth to me.
I came to understand that Jesus really did take care of everything on the cross. Salvation was by grace through faith, and nothing more. But there was one thing that kept me rooted in place, and it was FEAR with a capital F. You see, my denomination spelled out terrifying eternal consequences for those non-compliant with their rules and regulations, and it seemed safer to stay where I was than to risk being wrong.
That’s when God taught me the simple truth that transformed my life: Perfect love casts out fear. Since God Himself is love, choosing my church membership on the basis of fear suddenly seemed a ridiculous contradiction. I left that church and never looked back.
In fact, allowing my heart to be troubled about anything is a contradiction of my faith in Jesus Christ. That can be a hard thing to remember when life throws a punch, because fear is a strong emotion and Jesus’ words are simple:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
But it is in the simplicity of the invitation that we find rest and peace and security. If we take Jesus at His word, we discover that the power of a stilled heart proves to be far greater than that of one that is troubled.
“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.”
More simple words to be taken at face value. As Jesus prepared His disciples for His impending departure, He could have simply left them with, “Trust Me.” It would have been enough. But, instead, so they would know what to expect, He filled their heads with a glorious vision of His Father’s house and the promise to return and escort them to it.
He makes the same promise to us, and He wants us to be filled with the same sense of expectation. As someone whose faith in Christ was once overshadowed by fear and rules and works, I am happy to take Him up on this!
Thank you, Lord, for inviting me to trust You completely. Thank you for putting my heart at rest. I await with great expectation the glorious things You are preparing for those who love You.