“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and also trust in me.” -John 14:1 (NLT)
“I am leaving you a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” -John 14:27 (NLT)
“I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.” -John 12:47 (NLT)
“Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer…So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” -John 13:33 (NLT)
“No, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me.” -John 14:18-19 (NLT)
“And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them (us) so they can be made holy by your truth.” -John 17:19 (NLT)
“So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” -John 16:22 (NLT)
“I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.” -John 17:13-14 (NLT)
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” -Luke 12:32 (NLT)
“Don’t be afraid. Just have faith…” -Mark 5:36 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” -John 15:9 (NLT)
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” -John 15:11 (NLT)
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends…” -John 15:13-17 (NLT)
You don’t even have to take my word for it. Jesus, our God, says it himself. Time after time. Over and over. His concern was for our joy. For our hearts. Our joy makes him happy. He loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t want us to be afraid, or for our hearts to be troubled. He loves bringing us joy and happiness. He even sacrificed himself to give us his very own joy. He couldn’t have made it any more blatant that his main concern was that we find true happiness, joy and love.
And that’s what he wants for you. And he won’t stop until you get it. No matter what anyone else says or does. He will find a way to give you what your heart desires. He even promised that. So don’t be afraid to ask. Or ashamed. Or guilty. Know who you are in his eyes and ask him to give you what your heart needs.
I have observed something interesting in the church, within the Christian community, and even in myself. One of the biggest reasons Jesus warned so much against fear, is because fear is one of the biggest obstacles to his message. I have seen that even now, we still make this mistake.
“So the promise (Gods promise) is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s.” -Romans 4:16 (NLT)
I have observed that we get funny when it comes to verses like this. I even saw it in our church. We automatically start trying to explain it away. “Well it doesn’t mean this or that.” “It’s not a free card.” When I see this, I think about where those types of defenses and explanations come from. What is the source? I think it’s fear, and that’s exactly what Jesus warned against. Fear will blind you from the gospel. Because he knew that the gospel was so scandalous that we would be afraid to admit that it means…simply what it says. Nothing more. That passage means exactly what it says. It’s a free gift that we have been given. We didn’t deserve it, and we don’t have to earn it. Yes, it is too good to be true. That’s why it’s good news. We are often afraid to admit that. That my friend, is where the gospel ends and religion begins.
When you are at the mercy of everyone else, it makes it hard to think for yourself. If you aren’t careful, you start living the life you think others want you to live. Not the one that you truly want to live.
I don’t believe we are suppose to suffer for God. I believe we will at times and should be willing to. But I don’t buy into this whole ‘suffering servant’ Christ following. Jesus suffered. Why would God do that to His son if we were expected to suffer in the same way? Wouldn’t He want to see us happy at the very least? He gave up His son for us. It almost feels disrespectful to try to suffer for Him instead of be happy and thankful for what He did.