When there are so many challenges made, so many insistent declarations that call into question what you see, what you hear, what you think, and yes, what you know, it is hard to be certain sometimes about anything.

While doubt is not unwelcome for the honest believer who is trying to understand, it is good to hear something that reminds the faithful follower about why their journey of faith was begun in the first place.

Listen now for echoes of truth, so that you may believe still.

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"You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe."

John 14:28-29

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One final time, Jesus warned his disciples that he was about to depart. He left with them the peace of God and the promise of his return. The disciples still didn’t seem to understand, though. Sometimes I wonder why Jesus went to such lengths to explain his plans at all.

I have an idea. I think Jesus gave the disciples this preview to boost their faith. He told them so they would believe. You see, Jesus promised to go away, and this promise came true quickly. First his death took him away only hours later, and then following his resurrection, his ascension took him away again. Although these absences were painful for the disciples, they also confirmed Jesus’ words.

If he kept his promise to go away, we can trust him also to keep his promise to return. Many Christian traditions set aside today to remember Jesus’ return to the Father. As we remember his ascension, let’s also celebrate the second half of his promise to come again to those who love him.

Joshua Hays

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Jesus, today I remember that you kept your promise to go from this world. Help me also to remember your promise to return, that I may believe in your hope and share your good news with everyone. Amen.

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It is in the knowing
And in the unknowing
That the faithful find their way through.

It is in trust despite distrust,
Harmony despite discord,
And belief despite deceit
That Love finds its ultimate victory,

Unwilling and finally unable
To let go the beloved.

Joshua Hays

Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.

Amazing Grace

Clay Mottley

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