The Home Above and the Journey Thither

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 5
THE Lord has assured to His people the blessedness of the Home above. "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you," are His words, and dear indeed are they to the hearts of tens of thousands. The Lord's people know His "for you" includes themselves. Truly the beautiful Home above is for all the children of God.
“In My Father's house," says our Lord. He had come from the House above to the desert places of this earth. He, the Son of the Father, who knew so well what the House on high is, and the love and joy that dwell there, was despised and rejected, and a Man of Sorrows here. Many mansions are there, many dwelling places: here the blessed Lord had not where to lay His head. On earth He was both a pilgrim and a stranger; and as He told His disciples of the Home above, in His Father's house, His path on earth was about to end; He was in a few days about to return thither. By His words Jesus was teaching His own to turn from earth and earthly expectation, and to dwell with Him in spirit on the blessedness of the Home above. Now, had not the heavenly Home been the great and the lovely place it is, He would have told us, for He loves His own perfectly, according to the measure of His own love. None shall be disappointed who hope in Him; nay, no expectation of ours can rise up to the reality of the excellence of the Father's house.
Yet in that House of many mansions the Lord would prepare a special place for His people. In our little homes on earth we delight in preparing a special charm for the beloved ones long absent but at last returning. We study their special interests, and according to what they most love we seek to surprise them. Love works thus for its objects. Our adorable Lord, who has been here, and who knows, by having tasted suffering, what sorrow is, with His own skill and wisdom has prepared a place for us. How He will surprise our glad hearts with joys He has in store for us on that day! We may be sure it is a joy to the blessed Redeemer to render the place in the Father's house sweet and delightful beyond utterance to the redeemed. Each of His people will have a special joy. It shall be ours to
"Find each hope of glory gained,
Fulfilled each precious word.”
Not one good thing of His word on which we have set our hearts shall we look for in vain on that day.
There is rich solace and abiding comfort to our hearts in the contemplation of the Home above. Come, fellow pilgrims to the Mansion above, let us sing "Home, sweet Home" as we journey on to Heaven.
We think of days long gone by, of our childhood, and of our coming home, where at the door of the familiar house waited the beloved parents to welcome us. At that hour home was home indeed. All the wide world was as nothing to that little spot where love to us was everything. How much their love made of us! Such was our reception. And as we think of the love that made the welcome so sweet, and us so supremely content, we seem to hear our Jesus saying to us—yes, to us—"I will.... receive you unto My self: that where I am, there ye may be also." Surely we may humbly apply this happy memory of earth to our anticipated joys of heaven! For the Lord taught us of divine love by instance of the love of earthly parents. Yes, Jesus will receive us unto Himself! He will welcome us! In His love we shall be satisfied. The love of fondest parent cannot compare with the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge. Yet a key to the entrance into this His love may be found in these wonderful words, "That where I am, there ye may be also," for His pleasure is to have His own where He is.
We turn to the latter part of the fourteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, and find again our Lord's words, "Let not your heart be troubled." He reminded His disciples how He had said to them, "I go away, and come again unto you," and then took back their thoughts, and ours, too, to what He said about the Home above: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Peace is left for us on earth, and is ours on our journey Home. We praise Him for this exhaustless legacy. No sorrows of the way can deprive us of its riches, Peace is specially for the journey Home, often so troublous, and so long as we are on earth we are on the journey. A heart at peace is a mighty witness on earth to Christ in heaven. His own blood has accomplished our redemption. "Peace unto you" is His word to us.
“My peace I give unto you." "My peace," says our Lord! We may well ponder over this gift. When Jesus was here His peace was perfect; Man of Sorrows He was, but He was ever in peace. He stayed Himself on His Father, and was in peace. Even when men spat in His face, His soul was in peace. On those great occasions when His soul was troubled His peace was perfect, and we hear Him say, "Father, I thank Thee." His obedience to His Father's will, His delight therein, lets us into the secret of His peace as a Man, and He says, "My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”
What words for the way Home, then, are these: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"! Trouble we must have. "In the world ye shall have tribulations," but in Him we have peace. A saint of God on earth in the midst of tribulation, yet without a troubled heart, is one of God's wonders for His angels to look upon. And, further, the Lord bids us not to let our hearts be afraid. Fear is common to our souls. "Be of good cheer," says our Lord to us. He gives us good courage in Himself, and the courage is of Himself; He is the spring of it. Let us seek that our Christianity makes much of Christ. He is the source of our good cheer; He has overcome the world, and "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"—our own individual faith in Him.
Say not, dear traveler to the Home above, "Ah! this must mean very strong faith"; for "who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4, 54For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4‑5).) And the least child in the family of God believes that Jesus is the Son of God! Have we never seen a babe in its mother's arms shrink for fear, and as it shrinks thrust itself closer into her bosom? Let your fear but cast you closer on Christ. To His own love let us betake ourselves, and not be afraid. Whatever the next moment may bring forth to us, we shall not be afraid, provided we truly trust in Jesus. Make much of Christ on the way Home; He will make much of you when He conies and receives you Himself in the place He has prepared for you above.