“Do not let your hearts be troubled”

On the eve of his death, Jesus told his friends: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Jesus knew what was going to happen to him. As we know now, he was not looking forward to it – as a human being, he did not want to die (Luke 22:42).

His followers – disciples – were clearly puzzled by what he was saying. They had invested their whole lives in Jesus, believing him to be specially sent by God for his chosen people.

Yet, for some time, Jesus had been dropping some strange hints about his coming death.

In John 13, it is clear that Jesus knew how his disciples would react to his death for, in verse 38, he foretells that Peter will deny he was a follower of Christ’s. The life would go out of his friends like air out of a punctured tire.

But Jesus had a message for his friends – a message they would remember later on. It is a message for me and every believer, too.

After telling them not to be troubled, Jesus adds these words: “Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)

“Trust” is a word that runs through the Bible. The question we all have to face is: Do I believe that God has my best interests at heart? Do I believe he will work out things for my good as the apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28?

Do I trust him?

I was struck a couple of weeks ago by something a friend said. He was heartbroken about a serious family problem. But, he was trusting God throughout.

You might say his heart was troubled and, therefore, he wasn’t trusting God. I believe he was resting in God, despite his anguish.

I don’t think Jesus was telling his disciples to be happy about all the confusion and hatred and death that was on their doorstep. He was telling them to rest confident that God knew what he was doing.

As I noted above, Jesus pleaded with God the Father about the death he was about to undergo. But he wound up saying these timeless words: “Yet not my will, but yours be done.”

From that moment, Jesus went resolutely to his death on the cross. You might even say, he went triumphantly.

Like the disciples, I have been confused and troubled about a number of things this year. Jesus’ words are a message for me.

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