Like a piece of driftwood carried to and fro by the waves of the sea so the heart is easily moved from hard to soft, humble to proud, happy to sad, and peaceful to anxious, vice versa. John addresses the possibility of a troubled heart: "Do not let your hearts be troubled" and the possibility of a resting heart: "Trust in God". Jesus' death would certainly bring trouble to the disciples' hearts.
Why does Jesus address the troubled heart? People's hearts are often filled with anxious care caused by:
Bad news (health or financial)
The wisdom writer, in Proverbs 12:25, declares depression as a symptom of a troubled heart: "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression but a good word brings healing." So, whatever enters the heart of man shows up in a multitude of ways. The "good word" transforms a troubled heart.
John's words "Do not let" imply that the disciples bear the responsibility for the stability of their hearts and that peaceful hearts in the midst of great trials is actually possible. It would be up to the disciples to rein in their troubled hearts, like the Psalmist did in Psalms 42-43, when he says to his soul, "Why are you cast down? Hope in God."
Jesus not only gave us a command "Fear not" but also His method "Trust in the Lord" in the midst of an anxiety producing world where depression eats away at the core of people's lives. Jesus offers genuine peace. His Word speaks a true antidote to the world's fears.
How can Jesus give peace? He gives peace because He knows the way they need to take and He knows the troubles they will face. Jesus speaks peace because He has transversed the way and He has overcome the world. Trust comes as God's people believe God's Word regardless of what they see in the natural realm.
Only you can answer the question facing you today, "Is God more real than your circumstance or battle in which you are fighting?"
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Mark 14:22-26; Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 22:15-50
- What is Jesus teaching His disciples about His death?
- Read and record the terms of the New Covenant from Jeremiah 31:33; 32:39-40; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-27; Hebrews 8:7-13
- What instruction does Jesus give His disciples in spite of their betrayal?
- What does this tell you about Jesus?
- What is Satan's role in Simon's failure?
- What does Jesus say that must have greatly encouraged Peter later?
- How does Jesus describe future ministry?
- Describe Jesus' relationship with the Father.
- How do Jesus' followers demonstrate their love?
- What does Jesus promise to do for His followers?
- How does Jesus describe the work/person of Satan?
- What are the marks of genuine friendship/relationship with Jesus Christ?
If, like me, you are anxious about the financial, political and spiritual state of our nation then join me in THANKING the Lord that He is Lord and that He is accomplishing His purposes. "The lot [ballot] is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord" (Proverbs 16:33).