This is a chapter from my book: Heaven: Where Few are Many!
LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED
Jesus is in an upper room with His disciples. This is the night that He will be betrayed and arrested. The next day He will be crucified. The words recorded in John chapters 14-16 are His final words to His followers before His death. What did He say? They must have been very important words for them and for us. At least twice on this occasion He said the following words: “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1 & 27). What did He mean and how will these words help us in our present study? This will be the subject of this chapter.
First, we need to realize that He was not telling us that we should not let anything at all trouble us. Life is full of trouble (Job 14:1). Trouble will sometimes trouble us all regardless of our degree of faith and commitment to Jesus. Paul wrote that he was “troubled on every side” because “outside were conflicts, inside were fears” (2 Cor. 7:5). His heart was troubled at times and so is ours.
Furthermore, the Lord Himself was troubled on numerous occasions. In John 12:27 He said, “Now is my soul troubled,” because He was thinking about the time of His death. In fact, He was also “troubled in spirit” on this very occasion in the upper room because Judas was going to betray Him (John 13:21). Later, when He went to the garden to pray, He was “in agony” and “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground” (Lk. 22:44). These are a few of the many times that Jesus had a heart that was troubled. There are legitimate reasons to have a troubled heart. So, what did Jesus mean? “Let not your heart be troubled” about what?
If you read the context where these words are spoken, you will realize that Jesus did not want His followers to be troubled about the fact that they would sometimes fail and fall short of what He expects. Failure, weakness, and ignorance are all a fact of life for all believers. In John 13 His disciples learned that they were still very ignorant about much of what He had taught them during His time with them on earth. They did not even comprehend what it takes to be great in the Lord’s kingdom, even though He had tried to teach them on numerous occasions about humility and service (Matt. 5:3; 18:1-4; 20:24-28). Yet, in the upper room on this very occasion they were still arguing over who was the greatest (Lk. 22:24). Also, Jesus had announced that one of them was going to betray Him, another was going to deny Him, and they would all forsake Him and run away (Jn. 13:21-38; Matt. 26:31). In fact, it was immediately after He prophesied that Peter would deny Him that Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). He did not want them so troubled or overly concerned about their weaknesses and failures that they would fail to focus on His promise to them and His encouragement for them. He did not want them troubled about these things, but rather He wanted them to trust in God and trust in Him. He was going to prepare a place for them, and He would come again to receive them to be with Him forever. Faults, failures, weaknesses, ignorance, and sins will not keep us out of Heaven if we continue to trust and rely on Him to save us. Our hearts should never be troubled about our relationship with Jesus as long as we trust Him for salvation and seek His will for our lives in spite of our failures, faults, and sins. Failure does not have to be fatal or final, if we will face our failures with faith. Faith in God and faith in Jesus will always save us regardless of the fact that we often do things we should not do and leave undone the things we should do. This is His message to us, our families, and our friends. In spite of all of the weaknesses and sins of His disciples, Jesus “kept them” by His power and “none of them” were lost, except Judas (John 17:12). He does the same for us all including you, me, our relatives, and our friends. One of the great lessons we need to remember is that Jesus chooses those who choose Him, and He helps us to choose (John 15:16; Acts 16:9-34). He also keeps those who want to be kept, and He helps us want to be kept (John 17:11-12).
In addition, when Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled,” He was telling us not to be worried or concerned about something or someone taking His peace from us that He promised to leave us. He said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). We have a peace that will never cease. Some of the very last things that Jesus said on this very occasion were the following words: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In our final chapter for this book we will discuss this perfect peace that will never cease. Thank God for Jesus!