“Let Not Your Be Troubled”
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.”
A troubled heart takes many forms. We are troubled at heart by many things. Sometimes it is the unknown that troubles us.
Herod the king as troubled when he heard about the King born in Bethlehem.
The disciples were troubled when Jesus walked toward them on the sea while their boat rocked in the night.
Zacharias was troubled when the angel of the Lord appeared to him at the altar of incense and announced the birth of John.
Jesus was troubled when He found Mary weeping over the death of Lazarus.
Peter warns us in his epistle that we may be troubled by the suffering that will come in the last days before the return of the Lord Jesus.
An agitated and troubled heart is a natural reaction to circumstances that are beyond our control, both in the present and in the days ahead. But what should be our reaction to the unknown that lies before us?
In preparing his disciples for His death, Jesus said literally to them, “Don’t allow your heart to be troubled: Trust me in the same way that you trust God the father.”
It’s easy for someone to say to us, “Don’t be afraid.” Or they may say, “Don’t worry about anything.” But as human beings we face things that are beyond our control and our knowledge.
The disciples had put their trust in Jesus then He began to tell them of His soon coming death. What would they do? Who would they turn to? Did this throw out all that they expected of the Messiah? Was He not to lead them out from under the Roman tyranny? Didn’t He come to give them victory over their oppressors? They were concerned about coming into the presence of God. Perhaps they were even concerned about the real human issues that we all face, like what shall they eat, where will they stay, what will they wear?
Have you never been afraid of these very same issues? Most of us have if we will admit it. But Jesus was so emphatic when He told them, “Don’t let your heart be troubled:” “But Jesus.” Can’t you hear them saying this to the Master? “But Jesus.” Jesus knew about their troubled hearts. His answer was to believe in Him as they did the Father.
Their faith in God was a stated and declared historical faith. They were among a company of many that had heard and trusted the Old Testament Scriptures throughout their history. It was a written history. Many before them believed. Their faith was a proven and accepted path of life. They were reminded of it when they gathered at the synagogues and the temple. Their very diet and celebration of that historical faith reminded them of what the majority of Jews professed to believe. But Jesus had asked them to go beyond what they had learned and put to practice the faith they said they had. It was not to just be a list of clean and unclean foods, or practices that were and were not to be acceptable, it was genuine trust alone. No written list to be checked. No religious practice to learn but simple faith.
As we face the unknown, our hearts begin to beat faster. Doubts and worry assail us on every hand. Fear becomes over whelming. Is this what Jesus has in mind for us when He says, “Don’t allow your heart to be agitated and cast about like a roaring flood down a mountain side.” Why? “Trust me,” He says, “Just trust me for each moment that lies beyond our sight.”
Why should we trust Him? His answer to the disciples is startling at the least. “I am the means, I am the only truth of all that has been declared, and I am the only life that truly exists beyond this moment. No one has the ability to come to the Father except through me.”
Is your faith resting on Jesus, or does it rest on your religious belief in Jesus. Many who claim to be Christians are really counting on what others have told them or just that which is written on a page about Him. They have never come to the place that the reality of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is real in their life alone. Perhaps that unknown that causes your heart to tremble and tears to roll has been given to you this moment to cause you to face the unknown with genuine faith. Faith is not just knowing and believing the doctrine of your faith but RESTING on the faith that God has given through Jesus. Paul sums it up for us when he said, “For by grace are you saved, through faith, and not the faith that you can generate, but faith that is a gift from God so that we have no reason to brag.” (Ephesians 2:8.9)
Well you may say, that’s easy to talk about but what about our food, and clothing, and even a place to live. Let’s be practical. How does faith bring us through those things?
Jesus in anticipation answered those questions long before the disciples faced the issue. His answer to them is the same answer for us today.
“No man is able to serve two masters, for he will either hate one and love the other or follow one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches. Because this is true, I tell you, “Do not worry about your life, that is, what you will have to eat or drink: nor what clothing you will have to cover your body. Isn’t life more important than food and your body more important than clothing?”
“Look at the birds: they don’t plant anything nor harvest, or store in barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much, more important than they are?”
“Who can add to their life by worry? Learn from the lilies in the field, what makes them grow; they don’t get tired by their work of spinning to make clothing. Yet King Solomon in all of his glory wasn’t dressed like they are. Therefore, if God dresses the flowers of the field, which today are, and tomorrow are burned, will He not much more dress you, O you of small faith?”
“Therefore don’t worry and say, “What will I have to eat or drink? 0r, “How will I be clothed?” (For the multitudes of the world seeks after these things 🙂 Your heavenly Father understands you need all of these things.”
“Moreover seek first for the Kingdom of God (God’s rule and reign in your life) and His righteousness; and all of these things shall be added to you. Don’t worry about tomorrow: Tomorrow will have its cares when you get to it. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow: Today has enough evil to deal with.” (Matthew 6:24-34)
Jesus again summed up the difference between those that merely had a religious faith and they that had the real thing.
“Jesus answered and said to him, “If a man loves me, he will carefully pay attention and apply my word: and my Father will be pleased with him, and we will come to him, and make our dwelling place with him. He that does not love me will not carefully pay attention and apply my word which is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. I have told you these things while I am with you. Moreover the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you and bring all things that I have told you to your remembrance. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: I do not give as the world gives. Stop letting your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:23-27)
God gives us genuine peace when we rest totally on what He has done for us. He gives that peace and will supple the need of all those that trust Him. After all has God not declared to those that trust Him, (Philippians 4:19-20) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Don’t be afraid. Don’t let your heart be troubled. Demonstrate to the world around us the greatness of the God that keeps us day by day the faith that He has given you in the midst of a troubled world.