John 14:1 – Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. (ESV)
According to U.S.A. Today, “More than 20 percent of American adults took at least one drug for conditions like anxiety and depression in 2001 … including more than one in four women.”
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).”
In our text today, Jesus has indicated one of the disciples is a deceiver (John 13:21) and predicted Peter will deny knowing Him at all (John 13:38; Luke 22:34).
While Jesus wanted Peter pre-warned of his failures, He also wanted him to know, on the front end, that it would be all right. “Don’t let it worry you or destroy you” is the message.
The basis for being untroubled was faith in God and Christ. Probably a better translation of this phrase is for both statements to be imperatives or commands. They did not understand at all what was happening at this point in Jesus’ life.
His answer is this, “Trust Me.” We do not all go through the same trial they did. But all of us face times when we just do not understand what is happening.
Jesus later told the disciples why he gave them glimpses of the future that would soon follow: “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe” (14:29 niv). They would not need to be afraid because all that he promised would come true.
Jesus has just told Peter that he would deny him three times and the other ten would scarcely fare any better. They are visibly shaken. So Jesus tells them to stop being troubled. With two more imperatives, Jesus gives the solution: Trust in God; trust in me!
Jesus said they had an option. They could be heart troubled by what he said. Or, they could trust him. The antidote to a troubled heart is faith in Jesus.
If this seems too simple, these are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to troubled hearts. Either His words are true or they’re not.
I would ask you to consider whether perhaps you just haven’t applied these words before you conclude that they are simplistic or impractical.
And I also point out that Jesus’ words have given genuine comfort to countless believers in the midst of horrible trials over the past 2000+ years of church history. So before you shrug them off, consider whether or not you have truly applied them to your troubled heart
Faith is only as good as its object. Trusting in a faulty airplane won’t make it fly! As we’ve seen repeatedly, everything in the Christian life depends on the correct answer to Jesus’ question (Matt. 16:15), “Who do you say that I am?”
If Jesus is who He claimed to be and who all of Scripture proclaims Him to be, then He is absolutely trustworthy in every trial that you encounter.
If He is not who He claimed to be, then eat and drink, for tomorrow you will die (see 1 Cor. 15:12-19, 32).
“If Christ is raised, nothing else matters. If Christ is not raised, nothing matters.”
In Jesus’ day the kardia/heart was seen as the center of human volition or will. When he says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” it would be something like a modern person saying, “Don’t be wavering in your determination.”
This is why he follows this up with another command, “Believe in God and believe in me.” This is more than advice to trust God at a time of crisis. It is a perpetual command of Jesus for his disciples: Believe, Believe, Believe, and never stop Believing.
Do You Trust me? Faith is a living well-founded confidence in the grace of God, so perfectly certain that it would die a thousand times rather than surrender its conviction.
Such confidence and personal knowledge of divine grace makes its possessor joyful, bold, and full of warm affection toward God and all created things — all of which the Holy Spirit works in faith.
Hence, such a man becomes without constraint willing and eager to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer all manner of ills, in order to please and glorify God, who has shown toward him such grace. We have trusted many people and many things:
Personal nature: We often trust our families, we have trusted our friends
Public nature: We have trusted our transportation services
We trusted our national security services
We trusted our military services
What do all of these things have in common? Sometimes they fail our trust.
God wants you to trust Him.
- Moses trusted God to deliver the Israelites at the Red Sea.
- Joseph trusted God while he languished in the Pharaoh’s prison.
- David trusted God for a victory when he was facing down Goliath.
- Jonah trusted God to answer his prayer in the belly of the whale.
- Peter and John trusted God as they stood before the Sanhedrin and gave their defense of the Christian faith.
The words recorded in chapter 14 are intended to minister to the troubled spirits of the disciples—but not to give them immediate comfort.
Have you ever noticed that virtually every advertisement for pain relievers claims the same thing—fast relief? I have yet to find any advertisement which says: “Our product will not give you quick relief. If you purchase it and take the recommended dosage, nothing will happen for some time. …”
The “relief” which our text offers is not “fast” relief. The Upper Room Discourse is not a “play by play” account of the events that took place in the Upper Room, as the disciples experienced and perceived them at the time.
The Upper Room Discourse is a reconstruction of these events, recorded years later, after the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord.
These words were written by John after the Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost, who enabled the disciples to recall and understand what they had seen and heard in their last hours with the Lord (see 16:12-16).
The immediate effect of our Lord’s words to His disciples was confusion and sadness. I would like to suggest that this was exactly what our Lord intended them to produce—for the moment.
Suppose the disciples really did grasp what Jesus was about to do. Suppose, for example, that the disciples understood that Judas was about to betray our Lord and to hand Him over to the Jewish authorities, so that they could carry out a mock trial and crucify the Son of God on the cross of Calvary.
I think I know what Peter would have done—he would have used his sword on Judas, rather than the high priest’s slave.
I believe the disciples would have attempted to prevent what was about to happen, had they known what that was. But the confusion our Lord’s words produced threw them off balance.
The result was that when Jesus was arrested, they fled. They did not die trying to defend the Savior, and in part this was because they were utterly confused by what was happening.
Jesus’ words were not intended to produce instant “relief,” but eternal joy. The confusion and sadness that the Upper Room Discourse created in the disciples enabled Jesus to die just as He knew He must, just as it had been planned, purposed, and promised long before. The disciples were surely not “in control” at this point in time, but, as always, the Master was.
What does it mean to trust?
Webster: Basic dependence on someone or something, Belief that something will happen or someone will act is a prescribed way
Trust is found in our unswerving belief that the God of Heaven will indeed work on our behalf to bring His perfect will for our lives into being
Far too often in life we become completely focused on the trials and difficulties of life and we lose our focus on Christ. When Peter walked on the water with Jesus he was doing well until he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the waves.
The same is true of us today. God can get us through the most impossible situations but we must keep our focus and trust on Him. How can we ever expect to find help and healing when we are still focused on our difficulties and not our deliverance
Jesus was calling the disciples to trust God through any and every circumstance of life. He was about to be crucified and they would be scattered. Jesus was telling them to trust even when they did not understand because God was still at work
If I were to ask you individually, most of you would very quickly say that you trust God but there are times when trust is not so simple. Trusting God means we believe in that which we cannot see and sometimes may not understand
Trusting God is literally against our human nature. Trusting God means that we have to admit that we are not in control of our lives
We need to place our trust in something or someone and we do it every day. We trust our cars to get us to our destination. We trust our employers to deliver paychecks. We trust our doctors top heals our illnesses.
How much more should we trust God? Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Disasters strike and tragedies happen in our lives. Life can indeed be hard. Life can be uncertain. Life is beyond our control. In times like this, life is beyond our understanding. We are left with raw emotions and tough questions.
Answers are beyond us as we grapple with the question of why.
God asks the question: Do you trust me?
“Nothing and I mean nothing that we go through in life is beyond God.” The truth is that we can and must rely on God in every situation in life. Times that just don’t make any sense in human terms; we need to trust in God. The more senseless life becomes the greater our need to trust in God.
The writer of Proverbs states it simply and clearly that God wants your full and complete trust. Trust God with all of your heart. We must hold nothing back and surrender to Him all that we are, all that we have, all that we may become because without the presence and guidance of God we will go nowhere.
God wants you to trust even when you don’t understand. When life just doesn’t make sense. God wants us to follow Him when the future seems uncertain. It is only when we completely trust God that He to give us the power of His direction and the power of His presence.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust n you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10
When we feel weak, God is our strength. When we are pressured by life, God is our relief. When we need security, God is our refuge. The full resources of God are at our disposal when we place our trust in Him
If you do not place your trust in God, there is no access to His power, His mercy or His love. When trials arise and we go through difficulty; it is then that we must place our trust in God. Without trust in God there is no comfort, no peace, no strength and no relief.
Once my hands were always trying; Trying hard to do my best; Now my heart is sweetly trusting, And my soul is all at rest. Once my brain was always planning, And my heart, with cares oppressed; Now I trust the Lord to lead me, And my life is all at rest. Once my life was full of effort, Now ’tis full of joy and zest; Since I took His yoke upon me, Jesus gives to me His rest. — A.B. Simpson
God has made a promise that He will never forsake those who seek Him. The promise that God made so long ago is still valid today because God has never broken a promise yet.