“Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34). Every day you face is filled with new troubles: new difficulties with a work project; new anxieties with your children; new arguments with your spouse; new stresses about how to pay the bills; new diagnosis for your health, etc. Yesterday’s troubles are still there, but today’s challenges aren’t waiting for you to get it together.
Into these daily anxieties Jesus sweetly whispers, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). It’s as if a friend has placed his hand on our shoulder, in the midst of a very anxious time, gently reminding us, “Don’t worry about it; everything will work out in the end.” How is this comfort accomplished? “Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1b). What are we trusting Jesus for, and how does it help us access this great peace? “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 take you to myself that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Trusting in the character and faithfulness of Jesus to prepare a place of comfort and life for us beyond this current one filled with troubled—an eternal place of untroubled days.
What an incredible thought that the Creator and sovereign Lord of the cosmos is getting a room ready for you. This speaks of intimate, personal knowledge and deeply intentional love. When traveling, I have the opportunity of staying at someone’s house. At times, you can tell that the host put little time into preparing for my stay: the room may be a little disheveled, the fridge is empty, and their schedule is hectic. Yet there are other times when people treat me so well I feel like a king: the bed is made with candy or some snack I enjoy on the pillow; the fridge is fully stocked with drinks that I like; they make time in their schedule to chauffeur me to different destinations throughout the week. Their genuine care warms my heart and makes the week much easier.
Jesus’ promise in John 14 speaks deeply into our greatest fears; that no matter how shattered our current life may become, there is a settled place of caring love waiting for us in the end. The journey of the Christian life will come to rest in a wealth of inevitable, eternal good (Rom. 8:28). This quiets our daily troubles because it promises that troubles will ultimately be done away with; that a day is coming when you no longer have to worry about debt, cancer, car wrecks, or terrorist. Jesus has prepared a place where you don’t turn on the news and wait for the next alert to pop on the screen; a place where there are no blood test or anxiety medication—it is an eternally care free day.
Jesus’ promise in John 14 speaks deeply into our greatest fears; that no matter how shattered our current life may become, there is a settled place of caring love waiting for us in the end.
This promise isn’t something that we wait to enjoy but speaks into our current distress. Jesus tells the apostles, in that very moment of their fear, “Don’t be troubled.” That is, allow your trust in my purpose to fill you with peace in the current period. Paul speaks of this in Philippians 4:7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The promise and peace of God will guard you against daily troubles. The strongest point in this great shield is the promise of John 14: Jesus is preparing a place for you.