Jump Start # 2644
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”
Troubles—they also seem to follow us. I like the expression, “The guy who says all his troubles are behind him, drives a school bus.” His troubles are filled in all the seats of that school bus. Don’t be troubled, is what Jesus is saying. Jesus understood the trouble that troubles cause. Troubles make us worry. They put us on edge. They steal our sleep and rob our appetite. Troubles make us take our eyes off of the Lord. All we can see and all that we can think about and all that we talk about are the troubles that we face.
Some troubles are personal and only you experience them. Health issues are this way. Financial problems are this way.
Some troubles are experienced by many people. A hurricane will impact everyone in it’s path. Church troubles can effect everyone in the congregation. This pandemic has changed so many things. You may not have had Covid-19, and you need to be thankful if that is the case, but in some way you have seen disruptions in what “normal” once looked like for you. Working from home. Worship from home. School from home.
There are two central thoughts that this text shows us:
First, one cannot stop troubles. There were major troubles facing the disciples when Jesus first spoke these words. He was going to leave them. The process of that was going to be His death, burial, resurrection and ascension. The leader was going to be killed. It would seem that Rome was winning. The disciples would be scattered later on. Persecution would chase them the rest of their lives.
And, for us, troubles are always there. Some are big things that are beyond our control. We can’t stop a hurricane. We can’t stop wars, turn the economy, or improve the weather. Some troubles are small. When they happen they don’t seem small. You are in a hurry to get out of the house and you can’t find the car keys. On the way to the daycare to drop off the little one, and she spits up all over your outfit and you don’t have time to go home and change. A wreck on the road and traffic is backed up for miles. The internet is down and you can’t get any work done. It’s hot and the air conditioner quit working. The kids are fighting, the dog won’t eat, your mom complains that she hasn’t seen you in a while, the frig is empty, the store requires a mask and you forgot yours and it’s just a Monday. You wonder, can things get worse? And, the answer is always, YES. Troubles come.
Jesus had troubles, lots of them. The Jews were ready to kill Him before it was time. His disciples were fussing about who was the best. The Pharisees were abusing every word He spoke. The line wanting miracles was long. The apostles didn’t seem to understand the basic core principles that Jesus was teaching. Troubles come. Troubles will be there. As long as we have breath in our bodies, there will be troubles.
Second, troubles do not have to find their way into our hearts. That’s the point of Jesus’ words in our verse. “Let not your heart be troubled,” is what He said. He didn’t say, “Don’t have any troubles,” because you will. But don’t let the troubles trouble you. Keep the troubles on the outside. Don’t allow the troubles to come into your heart.
By using the words, “Let not…” Jesus shows that we are in control of what enters our heart. Sure there are troubles, but those troubles do not have to trouble you. Let not, means you are in control. You are not along for the ride. It seems that we tend to forget this. We tend to allow troubles to take over and suddenly we are no longer at the helm of our ship. We allow troubles to be the reason we can’t do things. We allow troubles to be a ready excuse that keeps us from worship and keeps us from walking with the Lord. “Oh, you know I’d be there if I could, but I’ve got all these problems and troubles in my life,” is so easy to say. And, with that, the troubles run and then they ruin our lives.
Let not your heart be troubled. There are plenty of reasons to be bothered, but you won’t be. And, Jesus gives us two valuable ways to keep those troubles on the outside.
First, faith. Believe in God, He says, then believe in Me. Faith. God loves you. God is in control. Greater is He who is in you, than He who is in the world. When the ten spies reported to Moses and Israel what they saw in the promise land, their words were marked with fear, doubt and uncertainty. The ears heard those words and their hearts melted. Their hearts were troubled. Faith was lacking and they couldn’t take their eyes off of the problems.
Second, personal promises. Where I am, the Lord says next, there you may be also. You. You can be with Me. His words were spoken to believers. They are spoken to us. Jesus will take care of you.
Have you noticed how fearful, angry and upset folks are on the evening news. It’s dooms day. Things couldn’t be worse, is how it is often presented. And, then my mind goes to this verse, “Let not your heart be trouble.” Say a prayer. Read some passages. Turn off the TV. Shut the door of your heart. Get the bad stuff outside.
Troublesome times has not caused trouble in our hearts. Peace and calm are the people of God.