Text: John 14:1-31
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” —Deuteronomy 31:6
A few days ago, I saw a post that said, “I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I’ve experienced the free 7-day trial and I’m not interested.”
For many people, there were assumptions that getting 2020 behind us would fix all of the challenges in our society, perhaps even remedy the world of a pandemic and political chaos. But just a few days into a new year and we are all faced with the not-so-subtle reminder that the mess we find ourselves in isn’t suddenly going away just because it’s a new calendar year.
God never promised us an easy path to traverse. He never promised smooth sailing. But He has indeed promised us something much greater—His presence, even in difficulty and troubled times. The Almighty has given us His word that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Our text in John 14 begins with these reassuring words from Jesus: “Let not your hearts be troubled.” As you face today and tomorrow, know that there is nothing in all of this world that can permeate your life that is too big for God, nor is there anywhere you can go that is beyond His reach. Nothing you will face this coming year will catch Him off guard. As A.W. Tozer said, “Because God knows all things perfectly, he knows no thing better than any other thing, but all things equally well. He never discovers anything, he is never surprised, never amazed.”
God cannot be moved by what is coming in 2021. He will not be surprised. He will not be intimidated. He will not be shaken. Nor will the supreme Creator and Sustainer of this universe bail out on you. As Jesus continued to encourage his followers in John 14, he declared: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Let the beauty of these words sink down deep within your soul. Gandhi has orphans. Buddha has orphans. Mohammed, Krishna, and Confucius all have orphans. Only Jesus can say that he doesn’t have any orphans because His grave is empty and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit has set up residence in our hearts (John 14:15-26). We can never, ever be alone again.
The most important thing about 2021 is not what lays ahead, but Who goes with us. Think about that as you seek to abide in Him this week.
God, I thank You for always being with me—through the good and the bad, the mountains and the valleys, the blessing and the bleeding. Help me to be strong and courageous knowing that I don’t face anything alone. I trust You, and I know that You will work everything out for my good and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Questions for personal reflection, small group discussion, or dinner table conversations:
- In what way do you sometimes feel that this world is not your home?
- What did Thomas ask Jesus? (14:5) What did Jesus tell Thomas that He was? (14:6) In what way is faith in Jesus Christ exclusive or narrow?
- What evidence did Jesus use to prove that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him? (14:11) What did Jesus say that those who had faith in Him would do? (14:12)
- What did Jesus say He would ask God to give His disciples? (14:16) Why could the world not accept the Spirit of Truth? (14:17)
- What can you do today to experience and enjoy the peace Jesus has given you? What troubling problem or fear do you need to turn over to God?
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