After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
- John 17:1-5
I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
- Apostle’s Creed
“But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.”
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“… our feelings come and go, His love for us does not.”
Do you remember that “religious experience” that you had at church camp 30 years ago?
Some people do; some do not; some never had that experience. Some think that feeling is purely emotional, and then they get over it. They think having the emotional experience is all that is necessary to enter the kingdom of Heaven. What is necessary is a lifelong commitment, trusting Jesus in everything.
Jesus prayed that God’s will would be done, as quoted above. Then He prayed for His disciples. Then He prayed for all believers. All recorded in John 17. Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, gave up His life for our sakes. We have the opportunity, if we surrender to Him, to share eternity with Him. It cost Jesus His life to give us that opportunity. He rose from the dead, but Jesus did die and then arose.
We cannot buy our way in. We cannot do good works to get in. God’s gift is free, in that we can do nothing. But as C. S. Lewis says, “at whatever cost to us, …”
If it is free, then what can the cost be? For those who have Jesus in their hearts, Jesus, according to C. S. Lewis, starts to tidy up. Then Jesus starts to tear down walls and expand here and there within us. It might get to be a little uncomfortable. But Jesus is making a mansion for us, fit for a king, because we will be brothers of Jesus. Yes, there may be a lot of discomfort, but Jesus carries the bulk of the load, and Jesus is within us to give us strength when needed.
I will take a bit of discomfort here and there if what I get in return is never being alone. I have been alone, and that is not a way of life that I would want to relive. The way I see it, as long as we breathe in this fallen world, we all will have discomfort. But those without Jesus have no one to carry their load and no one to comfort them through the hard times and no one to provide the strength in which to endure.
Trust in Jesus, whatever the cost.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.