One of my favorite hymns to sing with my friends in memory care is “Mansion Over the Hilltop” written by Ira Stanpill in 1949. His song has become a classic for every generation of Christians because it reminds us that our hope is not found on this earth…For the rest of this post continue reading on Walking With Lambs
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:1-2 KJV
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 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? John 14:1-2 ESV
While the other gospels just tell us that Jesus went from the Last Supper table to the Garden of Gethsemane; John allows us to listen in on the conversation along the way. Jesus begins by letting them know that one of them will betray Him, the rest of them will run away, and Peter will even deny Him. Of course, they are shocked and start to argue with Him. (Haven’t you argued a little with God once in a while?) But in today’s passage, we see that Jesus pivots, from the bad news about the disciples’ impending failure, to the amazing news about what God has in store. Today’s verse is one you probably have heard at a graveside ceremony or to people living out their final days. And while God’s promises certainly apply in those end-of-life situations, they are also true in our everyday world. Just like the disciples, we may be facing discouragement, confusion and fear. We find ourselves in the middle of battles we didn’t start and conflicts that we don’t know how to resolve. At exactly our lowest moment Jesus comes and gives us these words; “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me!”
You see, faith is not just handy for funerals or on Sunday mornings. Real faith, the Jesus kind of faith is meant for every day of our lives and can help us with whatever we are facing today. But real faith is more than just a gift. It is also a spiritual muscle that God wants us to exercise. Jesus actually commands us to get off our duffs and take control of our heart and say, “Stop all the fussing! God is still in control!” You might say you don’t have a lot of faith, but Jesus tells us we only need a mustard seed of faith to move mountains. So pick yourself up from the feeling sorry for yourself corner and to turn to God for strength. He knows what is going on and He says, “Don’t let your heart be troubled!” He has a special place prepared for us today!
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4 KJV
Often, I have taken this to simply mean that, if I make God my greatest desire, then He will give me anything else that I want. While this may be partly true, it misses the beauty which another translation reveals when it says, “Let your happiness be in the Lord”. In other words, when, the Lord is our greatest delight and happiness, then He makes a way for us to find Him!
Picture a young couple in love. One evening at a fancy restaurant, the man puts his plan into motion. After enjoying a delicious dinner and once the waiter has cleared the table, he falls to his knees, pulls a diamond ring from his pocket, and with tears streaming down his face he publicly proposes to the love of his life. At that moment, he has made her, his greatest delight. Now, hopefully, the lovely young lady responds with a joyful yes, and seeing that touching moment and the other diners erupt into applause. Yet our young friend has not yet reached his goal. Instead, plans are set in motion, invitations must be sent, a hall rented, and a date agreed upon by their parents, pastor and families. By faith, both of these people in our story are incredibly happy as they anticipate their wedding, But, when that day arrives, they will say their vows, exchange rings, kiss and walk out of the church for the first time as husband and wife.
Their joy is just a tiny picture of all that God has in store for us. For of course, Jesus is the groom in our story. He has publicly displayed His love, not at a 5-star restaurant, but on the cross. He has fallen to His knees, washed our feet and pledged all He is and all He has to us for all eternity. If we will say yes, then plans will be put into motion, guests invited, and a date set on which will be joined together forever. In our daily lives, we have a joy, because we trust that He is a good and loving God. He is our most valuable treasure and the ultimate love of our lives. Even better than this, we eagerly look forward to when all we have longed for will come to pass. Vows will be fulfilled, and a celebration like no other will happen on that day at His side when He will fully grant us the desires of our hearts!