April 8, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Susanna Lee, Gracepoint Davis

John 14:1-3
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

How does this passage answer, for believers, the problem of pain and troubles? This passage answers for believers the problem of pain and troubles because these difficulties we experience in this world are only momentary in comparison to eternal joy that we will be experiencing in heaven where there will be no more pain and every tear will be wiped away by our Heavenly Father as this is promised in Revelation 7:17   17 “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”   We as believers are sojourners, passing through this earthly  temporal life, as we prepare our lives for eternal dwelling in heaven.  Thus pain and troubles that we face on this earth can be seen through proper perspective which will keep us from allowing our hearts to be troubled.  In this broken, sin-ravaged world, we will experience heartaches and hardships.  However, by trusting in God’s promises of eternal life with Him, we can persevere with faith and confidence in God.

To what extent do I experience these promises impacting how I live, process pain or respond to setbacks? I experience these promises impacting my life  to the extent on how I CHOOSE to process pains or respond to specific setbacks.  I daily face the CHOICE of responding in faith or not by claiming God’s promises to be mine or not.  The natural default of my heart is to give in to my feelings or the situation.  But the times when I fought against this by proclaiming God’s Word to myself, I have experienced peace in my heart and God’s strength to persevere.  One of my favorite heaven songs that help me through pain and setbacks is a song titled “Praise God on High.”  The lyrics give me hope and faith in God’s promises as I it protects me from succumbing to my feelings of despair regarding my own sins, sins of others, or a fearful situation that is beyond my control.  The words to this song, as it is grounded on God’s promises, especially ministered to me when I was in a lot of emotional pain due to a relational loss that hurt me deeply for a long time.  This gave me proper perspective on how to process my deep pain as I received God’s comfort and peace to my broken heart:

Someday our pain will be no more
Someday our tears will fade away
Someday we’ll see our Lord and Savior face to face
Someday we’ll rest from all our burdens
Someday we’ll see His smile
Someday He’ll look us in the eyes
And say welcome home My child

Chorus:
Praise God on high
All that’s wrong will be made right
How we long for the day
Every wounded soul will be made whole
So let’s worship Him with a mighty voice
Like we’re already with Him in Paradise
Praise God on high
Praise God

Someday we’ll walk beside the Father
Someday we’ll rest at His feet
Someday our trials will all be over
We’ll be completely free

Praise God on high
Praise God

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Submitted by Jenny Ho, Gracepoint Berkeley

John 14:1-3
How does this passage answer, for believers, the problem of pain and troubles? First of all it doesn’t dismiss troubles or difficulty. He recognizes there is much for our hearts to be troubled by—there is sickness, there is death, the problem of pain bleeds into all relationships, family sometimes the deepest, into friendship, into the past, there are difficulties and scars so deep that there are no answers for them. Jesus doesn’t wave them away and say there aren’t real. Instead, Jesus points us to an additional reality—there is the Father above. And this father has a house, and he is not a stingy father—there are many rooms, there is abundance, there is a place for you and me after this world. There is love afterall. And it is not just a vaccum of no pain, it’s a place of relationship, of trust and safety, where Jesus says I’m going to be with you and you can trust me. If it weren’t so, I wouldn’t have told you. Jesus didn’t have to say this, but I think because we’re so used to hearing things that are so and have been disappointed. He says this for all those who’ve been duped, disappointed by life, let down by those who were supposed to keep you safe, let down by your own resolve, will, character and sinful heart. If it were not so I would have told you. It’s not just wishful thinking, not just pie in the sky. I think about people around me, there is no shortage of problems or pain, people experiencing death of loved ones, even in one day like the 10,000 who died in japan, thinking about all the paraplegics in the world,  people suffering with debilitating sickness of a child like joohye’s parents, people carrying baggage from past hurts… to all those people, Jesus lovingly says, “I’m going to prepare a place for you..and I’m going to be with you.” It answers the deepest longing to be loved and loved by someone who will not change, disappoint or ever leave.

Jesus is saying that in regards to our troubles, we can put our hope in heaven, that no matter how dark or difficult or impossible the current situation is, there is a hopeful, even joyful, unimaginably joyful future ahead. And that future can steady our hearts. Who can say “do not let your hearts be troubled”? That song “don’t worry, be happy” is just obnoxious to people who are suffering through real pain. But Jesus’ words are trustworthy because they are based solidly on reality of heaven, reality of Father above.

Additionally, this passage gives me hope about who God is…it’s course 101, trilemma, that Jesus really is Lord and not lunatic or liar, that when he says “anyone who has seen me has seen the father”—that this is truth. There are many voices that tell us that God is this or that, and Satan is always trying to distort the truth of what God is like. This passage tells me that we don’t have to wonder what God is like, whether He is good or not, whether He is faithful or not, loving or not, we don’t have to wonder because we have the life of Jesus to look at—that God is the same God who healed and loved and fed and went to the cross to die a humiliating, lonely, excruciating death for us. God is a god who is good, but also, he is a God familiar w/ suffering and pain so I don’t go through it alone.

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One Response to “April 8, 2011 Devotion Sharing”

  1. Jeff Chiu says:

    Thank you Susanna and Jenny for sharing. I’m really encouraged by your reflection and sharing.

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