Have Faith in Me

John 14:1-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”

There are many troubles we face in the world, along the course of our lives. Disappointments, disgraces, tragedies. The headlines we read every day point to the fact that this world is not an easy place to live, much less one where we could expect to be happy all the time. There are blessings, of course. But there are also horrors, and in no short supply. Often, when we experience a trouble, even a significant one, such as a loved one involved in an accident or facing a debilitating illness, people are tempted to offer the trite line, “Everything’s going to be alright.” Well, no, not necessarily. Perhaps things will not be alright. Then, what am I to do?

It may sound like Jesus is offering just such a trite response to the realities of troubles. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” This would not be terribly comforting, if we forget that these words come from the King of kings and Lord of lords, and the Master of history. Jesus can actually offer us comfort, because He knows the whole story. He knows that everything will not necessarily be alright during our days here in this mortal coil. But He also promises eternal life, and He keeps His promises. This is not to say that we should simply accept with resignation the troubles of this world. There is much we can do: fight for justice, lend a helping hand, provide what service and comfort we can to each other, etc. But it does mean that our hope is not in this world or in the men and women who run it. No, our hope must be in Jesus. Ultimately, we all die, regardless of how happy or miserable our lives have been. There is no escaping the sufferings of this world, or the trouble that is death itself. Only in the promise of eternal life is there hope for eternal happiness.

This is a Trinitarian Gospel. Jesus says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. They, together, send the Holy Spirit to strengthen and nourish us in our journey toward the kingdom, when all our troubles will not only be over, but answered for. We will finally understand the meaning of it all. Our mission now is to understand that Jesus is Lord and that He has made His promise that, if we follow Him and remain faithful to Him, our troubles will end and we will live forever in the bosom of the Father, sharing the very nature of God. And our mission now is to have faith that Jesus keeps His promises. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

Health Update: two more visits to the ER this week for severe abdominal pain. I have been diagnosed with another (this time mild) flare up of my diverticulosis, and with mesenteric arterial stenosis – so, one of the arteries that feeds my intestines in 50% blocked. It’s not an emergency, and the vascular surgeon who will put in my dialysis fistula on May 19 will discuss options for treating it. But I’m not convinced either of those is causing the pain. I have a rib on my left side that flares up periodically and causes pain, and I think it’s getting worse. I saw an anesthesiologist about it a couple of years ago and he was able to treat it so that the pain disappeared for about a year. Now, it’s back, and with a vengeance. I will see the anesthesiologist again and we’ll do what needs to be done. The training for home hemodialysis continues to go well and (if I can keep out of the ER and/or the hospital) I plan to transition to home hemo later this month. I’ve had good energy the last couple of days. Prayers for that to continue, for the transition to go well, and for the abdominal pain to stay away until I can get it treated. God’s blessings to you all!

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