In these troubled times it’s very easy to find ourselves facing any number of things that cloud our understanding and cause us pain. But the important thing is to not let those things come between our heart and The Lord. That’s where the disciples were as Jesus prepared to leave them …
John 16:22-23 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. ESV
The object of their pain was the fact that Jesus was leaving them and He wanted them to understand that the object of their pain presently (His departure) would produce great joy eventually. He wasn’t talking about a substitution but a transformation… His death would transform them. It was to be like the transformation of Joseph’s brothers …
Gen 50:19-20 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. ESV
The secret to “that joy” … the power to transform … is prayer. And the power of prayer is wrapped up in our faith. I have a note in my Bible whose author is unknow that sums it up: Belief is the key to a trouble free heart. That’s what Jesus told us…
John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. ESV
I have noted in my Bible 5 reasons that Jesus gave us in John 14 not to be troubled.
- Heaven … John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ESV
- We know the Father … John 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” ESV
- Prayer … John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ESV
- The Holy Spirit … John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. ESV
- Peace … John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ESV
There are many things in life that we we don’t understand, but placed up against Jesus’ promises it’s no contest … Heaven, Knowing the Father, Prayer, the Holy Spirit, and Prayer.
In verse 23 Jesus told us that in that day you will ask nothing of me. Because He left the disciples in their pain with the promise that their pain would be transformed into joy … Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
When we remind ourselves of these reasons (and more) that Jesus gave us for not being troubled, there will be no distance between us and the Father because Jesus has made us one with the Father … you can’t get any closer than that. That’s living the resurrection life!
016 The Stillness of the Valley