Fear, Memory & the Future by Pastor Matt

Song: Even So Come

Artist: Kristian Stanfill


27 “I am leaving you with 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. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.

John 14:27-29


Don’t fear

The command from Jesus today is don’t be troubled or afraid. But if we stop there, we’ll come up short every time. Fear’s a funny thing. It’s hard to control. Slippery. Feeds on uncertainties.

That’s what it was doing to the disciples in the passage, feeding on their uncertainty about the future. The disciples were afraid because they didn’t understand. What was all this chat from Jesus about leaving? Going away? Things were just starting to look up! We’re finally getting some traction. Now you’re leaving?! They couldn’t see how this was going to play out. They were afraid.

And so Jesus says, “Don’t be troubled or afraid.” Ok. Got it. Would that fear were so easily conquered in my life! Don’t be afraid. Power pose. Don’t be afraid. Power pose. Don’t be afraid. Power pose. Fear vanquished. Next.


Remember

But Jesus doesn’t stop there. It’s what he says next that carries the real weight in this passage:

“Don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you...”

And what did he tell them? I’m coming back.

It’s interesting how this passage brings together fear, memory, and the future. Our memory of Christ’s words has a direct affect on our fear of the future. Jesus makes a connection between what we do with His words and how we handle fear. Into the disciples’ uncertainty about the future, Jesus speaks a very certain word: I am coming back to you again. And, apparently, that knowledge – remembering those words – has the power to stave off fear. And open the door for peace of mind and heart!

I am coming back to you again, he says. You are not alone. Or rather, you are not left alone. The Father’s designs for this world – including your life and all of its details – will be accomplished. I will come back to you again.

Take a moment today to identify areas of fear in your life. Where might uncertainty over the unfolding of God’s plans be generating fear in you? Then, take that fear and place it alongside what Christ has said: I am coming back to you again – and pray that certainty into your fears.

How does this certainty about the future – this specific truth that Jesus is coming back – change the reality you face? What are the implications of Christ’s return for the situation you are facing today?

For the situation – personal, global, and everything in between – that might be sparking fear in you, remember (and pray!) these words of Jesus: I am coming back to you!

 

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