The Ultimate Alright – A Message For Troubled Hearts
September 9, 2023
Think back with me for a few moments to the "skinned knees" of your childhood. What did you do? As a little kid, when, all-of-a-sudden, life HURT? Maybe it was a skinned knee, a bad dream, an upset "tummy," the loss of a pet, or even the death of an important person in your life. What did you do? First see if you can recall the pain, and then recall what you did.
Well, when hurt happened to me as a little person, I would run crying to mom or dad. I needed, in quick succession a lap, arms, and three words. I can still remember how much I needed, and how I received, from my dad, these three things when my dog, Brownie, died. He provided me with a lap to sit in, two arms to hold me, and three words that ministered hope to my child's heart. The three words were: "It'll be alright!"
Have you ever heard these words before? Maybe, as a parent, you've attempted to console your children with these words: "That's OK sweetheart, it'll be alright." What made you say that? How did you know that "It would be alright?" Did you really believe what you told your child, or were you just trying to make them feel better?
I think there's something down inside of us that at least hopes there's something better than our current situation. But where does that hope come from? I think it comes from Jesus! Not just from what he said, but of what he did.
A troubled father brought his child to Jesus one time, with some belief, and some unbelief. He said to Jesus in tears: "Help thou mine unbelief." Jesus did. Jesus was bigger than the man's heartache. He could see bigger, and he could do bigger. Jesus has a bigger picture of life than we do, and he is able to bring to troubled hearts the "Ultimate Alright."
1. Troubled: In John 14:1, we have Jesus turning from his conversation with Peter to address all the disciples. He is here concerned with their troubled hearts. Jesus is sensitive to our feelings. We may catch glimpses of what someone is feeling by looking at their face, but Jesus goes straight to the heart.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled..." This is not a "stop feeling that way" statement but rather the introduction to additional information which can bring up another kind of feeling. This is an "It'll be alright" kind of statement to which Jesus will add the "Ultimate Alright." To troubled hearts Jesus offers the "Ultimate Alright."
2. Trust: "Trust also in me." Here is the message of the Gospel from Jesus' own lips. In this one sentence Jesus spans the GAP between the Old Testament and the New Testament: (You) "Trust (have Faith) in God; Trust (have faith) also in me." Here is some of the crucial theology of our Faith: Jesus Christ is God. Our salvation will not hinge on whether or not we "believe in God." But do we believe in Jesus Christ as God come in the flesh to atone for our sins; make us ready for Heaven, and make Heaven ready for us? "Im going there (Heaven) to prepare a place for you." He couldn't have atoned for our sins if he had been "just a human". All humans have feet of clay. All of us have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God.
3. The Ultimate Alright: "in my Father's house are many rooms ("mansions;" "dwelling places") Jesus is going away, but it's going to be alright! Jesus wants to talk about Heaven. We used to say of some Christians: "They are so heavenly minded, there no earthly good!" I believe today we've swung the other direction: We're so earthly minded we've lost our perspective on Heaven.
4. He's coming back to get us (Verse 3) there are two options (or doors) in this statement. It may mean at the time of death. It may be a reference to the 2nd coming of Christ.
The disciples were troubled on that day when Jesus talked to them about Heaven. Jesus said, "I know you are sad. I see the tears in your hearts, but dear brothers, It's going to be alright." Remember, this world is not your home you're just passing through.
During the Great Depression, a good man lost his job, exhausted his savings, and forfeited his home. His grief was multiplied by the sudden death of his precious wife. The only thing he had left was his faith and it was weakening.
One day he was combing the neighborhood looking for work. He stopped to watch some men who were doing the stonework on a church building. One of those men was skillfully chiseling a triangular piece of rock. Not seeing the spot where it would fit, the man asked, "Where are you going to put that?" The man pointed toward the top of the building and said "See that little opening up there near the spire that's where it goes. I'm shaping it down here so it will fit up there."
Tears filled this good man's eyes as he walked away. God had spoken to him through these words, "Shaping it down here so it will fit up there." He found new meaning in his difficult situation.
Until Next Time,
Pastor Joe Elick