One of the things God wants us to experience is inner calmness. Instead of worry, God wants you to experience peace. Instead of anxiety, God wants you to know inner quietness. When life is rough on the outside, He wants you to be calm on the inside.
- Look at Psalm 131:2 which says, “I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me” (NLT). Part of self-control is calming and quieting yourself. Instead of being annoyed and angry over things that really don’t matter, calm and quiet yourself.
- Now look at Proverbs 17:27, “The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm” (MSG). One of the reasons why we let things like worry, anger, fear, and bitterness get a hold on us is because there are some things we don’t understand about God, don’t understand about the situation, about ourselves, or about the other person. Understanding and wisdom are weapons against Satan’s attack to bring you down with worry or fear.
- Look at Isaiah 7:4 which says, “Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering sticks….” (CSB). King Ahaz was being threatened by two others kings. God told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz to “calm down and be quiet.” Have you ever had someone tell you that? “Calm down and be quiet.” That’s actually good advice.
God wants you to experience an inner calmness even though you may be threatened or have legitimate reasons to stress out. God says to you and me today. Be calm.
But how do you do that? How can you and I grow in understanding and experience this inner calmness that the Bible talks about? Jesus addresses this in John 14.
Jesus says beginning in verse 6, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” Are you troubled today? Are troubled about your marriage? About your finances? About your health? About what people will think? About what has been done to you? About what might be done to you? Are you troubled by what’s going on in your life or in the world? Here is what Jesus says to you. He says, Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 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? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (NLT)
Jesus instructed His disciples and us, to put our trust in four things that He promised would provide courage and renewed strength for our troubled hearts. Four things that would help them be strong and stay calm.
Jesus tells us to believe in a person
First, Jesus tells us to believe in a person. When a child is afraid during the night, he looks to his parent to provide comfort. The child will cling to Mom or Dad and begin to feel calm. That’s how it is with Jesus. His comfort in our lives begins with His very identity. Jesus says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Jesus is not saying there is God and then there is Me so trust in Him and trust in Me. Jesus is saying something radical to His disciples. He is saying, “Just as you trust in God, trust in Me, because God and I are the same. He is God the Father and I’m God the Son, one and the same with two expressions.” Jesus was saying He was God and He demonstrated this was true by walking on water, calming the storms, healing the sick, raising the dead, and other miracles that only God could.
Jesus was telling them, if you want to experience My strength and My power in your life then you will need to trust Me just like you have trusted God all your life. Jesus was saying to believe in what I say, you must believe in who I am. Jesus was asking them to believe in a Person. He was asking them to believe in Him.
So let me ask you, “Do you trust Him?” Do you believe Jesus is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do? Have you placed your faith in Him for salvation, to guide you through what troubles you, and to open up the doors of heaven when you die? That’s what Jesus is saying to us when He says we should place our trust in Him.
Jesus tells us to believe in a place
To help us be strong as we go through trouble, Jesus asked His disciples and us to believe in four things. First Jesus tells us to believe in Him. Secondly, Jesus tells us to believe in a place. Notice what Jesus goes on to say in verse 2, “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?” There is no illustration or example that can do true justice to what Jesus is really saying here, but let me try to get us a little closer to the depth of what is being said.
Imagine with me, a man takes a new job in a new city. He has begun the process of moving his family there, but he must travel ahead of them, start his work, and buy a house. His children love him and don’t quite understand why he must go away and why it will take so long before they can move there. He picks up one of his children who appears sad and says, “I’ll be going ahead of you. I will be getting your room ready. When you get there you will have a big yard to ride your tricycle and we can build that tree house we’ve been talking about.” In a much greater and deeper way, this is what Jesus is doing for us in this statement. He is encouraging us, His children, to think about the wonderful future He is planning for us in our new house that the Bible calls heaven.
Have you ever been stressed out at work and thinking about that vacation in two weeks? The thought of that vacation brings relief and joy while going through the stress of work. Heaven does the same thing for you during this life.
The Bible describes heaven in many ways. It describes it as vast, beautiful, and wonderful. It also describes it as a country, a magnificent city, and even as a kingdom and paradise. All those are excellent ways to describe heaven, but my favorite description of heaven is right here where Jesus calls it, “My Father’s home.” My earthly father’s home was not a good or happy home, but my Heavenly Father’s home is completely different. It’s a home of peace, love, joy, and acceptance. The thought of this “home” that I’m headed to somehow soothes my soul and calms me down when this world I live in is not what I would like.
Now listen carefully, you are not in heaven right now. Things and people in this world will sting, hurt, and disappoint you. But even though you may not be in heaven now, it can still have power in your life until you get there. It extends its hope to us. It guides our aspirations. It soothes our hearts when we lose a loved one that was a believer. Knowing there is a heaven at the finish line helps you to continue climbing the mountain and not to give up. There is more to this life than you can see. Heaven is just around the corner.
To help us get through this trouble, Jesus tells us to believe in a place called the “Father’s home.”
Jesus tells us to believe in a promise
To help us stay strong as we go through trouble, Jesus tells us to trust Him as we go through these problems and to keep our heart focused on where we are going, the Father’s home. Number three, Jesus tells us to believe in a promise. Jesus says in verse 3, “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (NLT).
- “When everything is ready” is referring to more than just heaven. God can create everything with a word, but “everything” includes the timing of His return. When God’s purpose for this world as we know it is over… when everything is ready Jesus said, “I will come and get you.” Nobody knows when, but Jesus will return. That is a promise. He has kept every promise in His Word and He will keep this one. I have no doubt, but until He returns you and I need to live for Him.
- Why is Jesus going to “come and get” us? “So that [we] will always be with [Him].” God wants to be with you. He wants to hang out with you. He wants you to live with Him forever. Its nice being wanted by someone isn’t it? My spouse wants me around. My children want me around. The people I work with want me around. Think about the difference between being wanted and unwanted. God wants you to be with Him. That is a deep statement if you think about it.
Jesus tells us to believe in a plan
To get through the troubles this world brings Jesus tells us to believe in a person, to believe in a place, to believe in His promise and finally, Jesus tells us to believe in a plan. His plan. His way. Jesus said in verse 4, And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
So Jesus tells Thomas and us, “I am the way.” I am the way to experience this place called heaven. What does that mean? A few years ago I had the privilege to get a personal tour of an air base that housed the B2 Bombers. A friend of mine was over that department and he had keys to every door. As he gave a tour we would go through various doors. Each door getting bigger and thicker. Each door the security was tighter and tighter. The last door we went through resembled a bank vault door. I was given access to areas that very few had seen. The only way I could experience this was through the position and authority my friend had at the base. In a similar way, the only way you can experience heaven is through the position and authority Christ has. Jesus is the way to heaven, not rules or rituals. It is a personal trust in Him and His plan.
So Jesus says if you want to deal with the problem and troubles this world brings let me tell you how to keep the right frame of mind as you face them…
- Believe in Me. Trust Me. Depend on Me. Place your faith in Me for salvation, but also for guidance.
- Believe in My Father’s home. Believe in heaven. Believe it is real and that someday all this trouble will be over and you will have rest, you will have peace, and all that you have hoped for will be real.
- Believe in My promise. Jesus will return for His people. Expect that to happen. Look forward to that day.
- Believe in My plan. Follow Me.