You gave it a chance and could not make a personal connection?
Could you use a little bit of hope right now?
Stick with me during this sequence and you’ll see when Jesus mentions YOU in the Bible – and a glimpse into his future plans for YOU!
So go back with me over 2000 years. Jesus is having a pretty intense and extended conversation with his followers called “the disciples.” Chapters 14 -17 in the book of John are a combination of Jesus talking, teaching, and praying. He just compared himself to being “the good shepherd” and his disciples are “the sheep.” (John 10:11)
He then says, “I know my own sheep, and they know me . . . I have OTHER sheep, too, that are not of this sheepfold.” (John 10:14-16) He is referring to more besides his disciples and the nation of Israel (which would include us as the OTHERs)!
But then it gets even more personal while he is speaking to the men, he states: “I am not only praying for these disciples but also for ALL who will ever believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20) What was their message? Be sorry for our sins > believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead for us > and choosing now to live for him. If that describes you – then YOU are a part of the ALL he was talking about! Isn’t that cool?
Like a well-crafted movie trailer – the story seems to take a turn for the worse. A few verses before he is praying for the ones in his care (which would now include US). He says to God, “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:15) Wait a minute – “the evil one” is part of this deal??? Keep safe – how is the evil one trying to hurt me???
The trouble keeps piling on – Jesus forwarned them earlier, “Here on earth you will have MANY trials and sorrows . . . ” (John 16:33) Why did he say many and not a few? Take a brief glimpse into our world and our own narrative for evidence:
Innocent lives being taken
However, like any great story – a hero rises! There is a second part of the many trials comment – “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. BUT take heart, because I have OVERCOME the world.” (John 16:33) So why all the problems if he has overcome? Great question! I don’t have all the answers. What I do know – we get to experience a partial overcoming of our situations and circumstances, and a complete overcoming when we finally experience Heaven. For now – some diseases are healed, some relationships are restored, some disasters are avoided, and some financial situations are reversed for the better. But not all. How does He decide which ones? That’s what makes him God and not us.
And in conclusion of this great story – I go back a few chapters with some words of hope that Jesus started his message with:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
He’s had over 2000 years to prepare a place for us – that is the ultimate Fixer Upper! He probably keeps adding a little more to it every day – he just can’t leave well enough alone. 🙂 I don’t understand it all – but when he will always be with us – all wrongs will be righted, all diseases will be healed, all disasters will cease, and the evil one will stop pestering us -forever!
We could all use a little bit of hope right now . . .
P.S. I mentioned at the beginning that reading the Bible might sometimes be a challenge. Some people feel the same about their prayer life – they don’t know where to start, what to say, or is anyone listening??? I wrote a book called Five Prayers That Can Change History. This book seamlessly takes you step by step on how to pray powerfully straight from the Bible. You can get instant access by clicking right here: https://amzn.to/2pO2Qew