Now and Forever
As the New Year begins, many people are looking forward with a measure of trepidation to what lies ahead for them and their families and friends, as well as for the world in general. It’s comforting to know that whatever the future holds and whatever problems or hardships you may face, Jesus wants to help you through them. If you have received Him as your Savior, you can count on His extra special care.
I’ve found that some of the most moving passages in the Gospels are in John chapters 14 through 17. Jesus was spending time with His closest followers, talking with them, teaching them, praying for them, and encouraging them—preparing them for the fact that He would soon be leaving this physical realm, and explaining that His Spirit would continue to always be with them.
He reminded them that He was their passage to heaven (John 14:6), and told them about the beautiful mansions He would make ready for them there (John 14:2–3). He promised to answer their prayers (John 14:13–14). He told them about the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26). He promised them supernatural peace (John 14:27). He taught them the importance of remaining close to Him in spirit in order to have the kind of life He wanted for them (John 15:1,3–5). He called them His friends (John 15:15). He challenged them to share His love and truth with others, and promised to reward them for doing so by answering their prayers and working through them (John 15:8,16). He promised grace and peace through tribulation, and confidently proclaimed that He had overcome the world (John 16:33)—“the world” meaning the godlessness that prevails in this temporal world.
Then He prayed for His disciples. “Father, I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one [the Devil]. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:15–18).
It’s not easy to live in the world and not be tossed about by the “waves” of this world’s woes, but it is not impossible. The secret is to keep your eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and to trust Him to keep you afloat (Matthew 14:25–31).
He has promised to be with you now and forever, through thick and thin (Hebrews 13:5), and nothing can separate you from His loving care (Romans 8:37–39).