Part 1 of six assurances for a troubled heart
There is much we could be troubled about today: the election; the economy; the pandemic; the stability of the world we live in; wars and rumors of wars; pestilence, famine, and natural disasters; societal and moral concerns; personal injury or illness; financial hardships; and more!
In the midst of all these concerns, how can we keep from having a troubled heart?
There are six assurances God has given us to ease a troubled heart. In this week’s blog, we will examine the first:
36 “Lord,” Simon Peter said to him, “where are you going?”
Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow later.”
37 “Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
38 Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly I tell you, a rooster will not crow until you have denied me three times.
14:1 “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe [or you believe] in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”
5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The first assurance you have to ease your troubled heart is this:
You Have a Heavenly Citizenship (Jn 13:36–14:6)
“Heaven” is the place where God dwells and where Jesus sits today at the right hand of God the Father interceding for you and me (Romans 8:34). “Heaven” is described as…
a kingdom: For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you (2Peter 1:11). As Christians, we are part of God’s kingdom. This earth and all the nations and kingdoms of this earth shall surely one day pass away; but God’s kingdom will never pass away. If you’re troubled by what’s going on the earthly “kingdom” (nation) in which you live, take heart – for you are part of God’s kingdom and in His kingdom, nothing troubling will ever happen again.
an inheritance: and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (1Peter 1:4). Taxes, family squabbles, debt, dips in interest rates or the stock market – all of these can impact the inheritance you receive as an heir or pass along to your heirs on this earth. But the inheritance that is laid up for us in Heaven is secure – thieves can’t touch it, the economy can’t affect it, natural disasters can’t wash it away, mold or mildew or insects or animals cannot mire it. It is safe and secure from all of this and more in our Father’s kingdom.
a country and a city: But they now desire a better place [or country] — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16). No nation on this earth, no city on this earth, no village or town or principality, shall ever be perfect – for all of these are administered by and inhabited by imperfect, sinful, and fallen humanity. But the Heavenly city – the Heavenly kingdom – is perfect in every way. No sin is there; no heartache is there; no suffering is there; no decay is there; no darkness is there – for it is ruled in perfection by One Who is perfect and nothing unholy or impure can ever stand in His presence.
a home: In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2). The Greek word translated “mansions” in the KJV and some other translations in (John 14:2) and “abode” in (John 14:23) also mean “rooms or abiding places.” Jesus Christ is now preparing places for all true believers and each place will be beautiful. When He was here on earth, Jesus was a carpenter. Now that He has returned to glory, He is building a church on earth and a home for that church in Heaven. Heaven is “My Father’s house,” according to the Son of God. It is “home” for God’s children!
John 14:3 is a clear promise of the Lord’s return for His people. Some will go to Heaven through the valley of the shadow of death, but those who are alive when Jesus returns will never see death. They will be changed to be like Christ and will go to Heaven:
13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout [command], with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage [comfort] one another with these words. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Since Heaven is the Father’s “house,” it must be a place full of love and joy. When the Apostle John tried to describe heaven, he ran out of symbols and comparisons; so in (Revelation 21-22), he listed the things that would not be there: death, sorrow, crying, pain, night, and more!
Heaven is a real place, a loving place, and an exclusive place. And Jesus does not simply teach the way or point the way; He is the way!
The assurance of a heavenly home at the end of life’s road enables us to bear joyfully with the obstacles and battles we may face along the way.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18)
Let not your heart be troubled, Christian. You are a citizen of Heaven!
© 2020 by J. David Chrisman
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.