We live in a world of turmoil. Even a fleeting glance at the news reveals the chaos and violence that abounds not only in our nation, but also throughout world. It’s not a pleasant sight particularly when one considers the wickedness that exudes about us.
Scripture describes our enemy, the devil, as “a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:7). During these last days, his attacks are all more frequent and fierce as he knows his time is ever so short. We see this both in our world and in his personal attacks against us.
It’s no wonder we see looks of hopelessness on the face of many people today. As believers, we also feel helpless at times as we look about us. If not for the comforting hope of Jesus’ return to take us to His Father’s house, I doubt I could cope with all I see in the world today.
John 14: 1-3 says, “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? 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.”
Do you see the comfort oozing from Jesus’ words?
1. Jesus Sees Our Troubled Hearts
Moments earlier in the Upper Room, Jesus had told His disciples that He would soon be leaving them (John 13:31-36). Naturally, the thought of the Lord’ departure troubled them. The Savior saw their pained expressions, but did not scold them. Instead, He spoke words of comfort to their distressed hearts.
We also see a similar expression of God’s compassion for us in Psalm 31:7, “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love; because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.” The phrase “steadfast love,” or “Chesed” in the original, encompasses the Lord’s never ending faithfulness and love toward us. His commitment to our well-being never fails no matter what comes our way.
Just is with the disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus knows the depths of our sorrows and heartaches. He understands our feelings and comes to our side bringing comfort and an encouraging eternal outlook.
For me, just knowing that Jesus see the distress of my heart has brought much comfort during such times.
2. Jesus Is Preparing a Place for Us
Jesus did more than simply encourage the disciples’ faith in the midst of their grief; He promised a future and grand reunion when He would return for them! In the meantime, He would a place for them in His Father’s house. He gave them an eternal perspective on their sorrow.
When I think of Jesus preparing a place for me, I visualize a majestic chamber within a gigantic castle, much like the one pictured above. Whether I’m right or wrong about this, I know the place Jesus has for me will be magnificent and spectacular beyond all I can imagine.
Once with Jesus, we will have no complaints about the accommodations or the timing of His return to take us home. Instead, we will revel in His great mercy, grace, and exceeding kindness.
Jesus’ love for us is far beyond our comprehension. Not only did He die in our place upon the cross and in His exceeding grace exchange our numerous sins for His perfect righteousness, He is constructing a special place for each of us in His Father’s house that will be perfect for our immortal bodies.
If Christ would do all that for us, we know our eternity with Him will be joyous and wonderful beyond anything we can imagine.
3. Jesus Will Take Us to Heaven
The other encouraging aspect of these verses is Jesus’ promise to come for us so that we can be where He is at, in His Father’s house. If Jesus is now preparing a special place for each of us in heaven, we can be absolutely certain He is going to take us there someday. Why wouldn’t he?
Some equate Jesus’ return in these verses with His Second Coming at the end of the tribulation. However, what would be the point of preparing a place in heaven if Jesus remains on earth does not take us back to His Father’s House? Why would Jesus even tell us about it if He did not plan to take us there?
When Jesus takes us to Himself (v. 3), He will take us to place He has made ready for us in His Father’s house. The text does not make sense apart from our return with Jesus to heaven.
The Rapture encapsulates my hope. The imminent and quick upward trip to heaven is just the beginning to our great and exciting adventure with our Savior. With imperishable bodies free from the presence of sin, we will return to earth to reign with him for a thousand years and then forever enjoy the beauty of a new earth and the New Jerusalem. For all eternity we will dwell there free of all suffering, pain, and death.
Can you see why such an expectation can give us so much comforts in the midst of grief and affliction? Regardless of what the devil throws at us, the Lord sees. Regardless of our fate on earth, it cannot negate the wonders God is preparing for us in eternity nor Jesus’ appearing to take us home.
When distress comes our way, Jesus sees both it and the much better day that is coming for all of us who believe in Him. This world in its current shape is not our eternal home; we look forward to a new and restored earth and a new Jerusalem!