A famous cardiologist wrote in his autobiography, "Hope is the medicine I use more than any other—hope can cure nearly anything."
Here are the hopeful words of Jesus to everyone who has a hurting heart: "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am" (John 14:1–3, NLT).
When Jesus gave this statement, the disciples were afraid. One of their own, Judas Iscariot, had just defected. Then Jesus dropped a bombshell: He was going to leave them. They didn't understand what He meant by that. How could they live in a world without Jesus?
They didn't understand that he was going to a cross to die for their sins and ours. They didn't understand that He would rise from the dead so we could have meaning and purpose in life and hope beyond the grave.
All they heard was that He was going to leave. And it shattered their world.
So Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled." Another translation of this would be, "Don't let your hearts shudder." Jesus was saying, "In the light of the imminent cross, it may seem like your world is falling apart and that darkness is going to overtake you. But don't let your hearts be troubled."
Then He gave them three reasons why they didn't have to have hearts that were agitated and full of fear. And they're the same reasons we don't have to have hearts full of fear, either.
First, God has given you His Word.
Take God at his Word. God will do what He says He will do. You can believe it. Jesus told them, "Trust in God, and trust also in me." In the original language, this is a command. Essentially, Jesus was saying, "Listen, guys. I know what I'm doing here. My word is true. And you will see that in time."
Do you believe in God, or do you believe in politicians? Or technology? Or money? Or people? All of these ultimately will let you down. But Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying" (John 11:25).
Do you have that hope for yourself and for others? The Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (see 2 Cor. 5:8). That's what happens when a Christian passes from this life to the next one.
Second, heaven is your destination if you have put your faith in Christ.
Jesus said, "There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2).
Know this: Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. That road winds through the paths where Jesus Himself has gone. The tomb is not the entrance to death but the entrance to life.
And if you believe in Jesus, the moment you take your last breath on earth, you'll take your first breath in heaven. I stake my life on the truth of what God has said. I'm not in denial. I know people die. I know there's pain. I know there's suffering. I've had plenty of it in my life and in my upbringing.
But I also know I'm not alone. I know that I don't have to try to find my own strength to get through. I know that God is here with me, no matter what comes my way.
Third, Jesus Christ is coming back again. He said, "When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am" (John 14:3).
We're seeing Bible prophecies fulfilled before our very eyes. On any given day in our troubled world, we see and hear things in the news that remind us of the warnings in the Bible about what will happen prior to Christ's return.
Jesus said, "So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!" (Luke 21:28). The rapture of the church is that event when the Lord returns and calls us to be with him in heaven.
The apostle Paul wrote, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thess. 4:16–17).
Paul wrote those words to people who were worried, believers who thought they'd never again see their loved ones who had died. He was saying, "When the Lord comes for his people and calls us to heaven, it's going to be a great reunion."
Death is the great separator, but Jesus Christ is the great reconciler.
We need hope for our hurting hearts. You might be filled with personal pain today. Or maybe you're wondering if your heart could ever be changed. Jesus has hope for you.
But heaven isn't the default destination of every person. You have to make a decision to go there. These promises are only for those who have put their trust in Jesus.
God has such a wonderful future for those who have put their faith in Christ. Don't let your heart shudder. Don't let it be filled with fear. And if it is broken, then let Jesus touch it.
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in California and Hawaii. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed that small group into a church of some 15,000 people. Today, Harvest is one of the largest churches in America, and consistently ranks among the most influential churches in the country. As of 2017, Harvest has joined in affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the original article, visit harvest.org.
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