January 10th, 2017

When I was 18 years old I was shipped off to the United States Navy. It was during the time of the Vietnam war, even though I never went to Vietnam. At that time, there was a totally different public attitude towards military personnel than there is today. I remember soldiers and sailors being spat on and jeered at; they were not welcomed in some public places. I’m glad for the greater respect today. I went off to Boot Camp, then “A” School, and then finally on my first ship headed towards an 8-month Mediterranean cruise.

One of the things I discovered during this journey was that almost all military personnel have something in common—a yearning for home. At least for me I know that the saying is true that, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” In the life of a Christian, there will also be that sense of yearning for home—our eternal home—even though we might not always recognize it. Having a yearning for home can give you a place of comfort and encouragement. It’s a place you can go knowing that you’ll be loved and accepted; it’s a place where you can let down your guard.

In John 14:1-3 the Bible says, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Jesus is using the thoughts of home here as a means of comfort and encouragement. He tells us, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.” Jesus is revealing to His disciples how to avoid being overburdened. He is also letting them know that they have a Father who loves them and is preparing a special place just for them. They are now aware that Father God is looking forward to their arrival, that He may pour out His love upon them.

As believers, we have an advantage in that we can bring home to us now. What do I mean by this? We have been given a promise by Jesus that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Is it possible for the believer to enjoy the benefits of “home away from home?” Jesus implied this when He said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:8)

You see, yearning for home is not just a future event—though our heavenly home will be great. Our yearning for home is that cry of our heart to have an experience with the Father God who loves us, right now. Do not think that the Father has abandoned you to manage on your own until the “sweet by and by.” No! When you feel that longing for Him, you are sensing an invitation from the Father to visit with Him today. He is always there to meet you. After an encounter in His presence, you will be empowered to face any challenge, fight any battle, and overcome every obstacle.

Lastly, bringing home to you not only takes your yearning desire, but an act of faith.  Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

I’ve been told that the phrase, “Fear not” is found over 365 times in the Bible—one for each day of the year. Don’t let your heart be troubled. You are not made for defeat; you are made for victory. I guarantee it!

Hello, my name is Steven Hilton. I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, which is where my great love for the Kansas City Chiefs comes from. My wife, Melodye, and I moved to Pennsylvania and established Giving Light Christian Fellowship in 1983, where we have pastored ever since. We’ve been married for over 40 years and have 2 children and 3 energetic grandchildren.

I still feel as if I am a work in progress that the Lord is molding and shaping. At one time I was very introverted and now I see where the Lord is opening me up to be more free in my communication with people. It is my desire to help people that have struggled with personal acceptance, those who have been abandoned, as well as making bridges between different people groups.



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