Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. —John 14:1
To feel the impact of John 14:1, you have to read the end of the previous chapter, remembering there were no chapter breaks originally. This is part of the upper room discourse (John 13-17), as Jesus meets the final time with His disciples prior to His crucifixion. At the end of chapter 13, Jesus distressed His disciples by abruptly telling them He was leaving. He was going away and wouldn’t be with them much longer.
“Lord,” Simon Peter said to Him, “where are You going?”
Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later.”
“Why can’t I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!”
“Will you lay down your life for me?” said Jesus. “I assure you: A rooster will not crow until you have denied Me three times.”
There must have been a deathly pause in the conversation, but a moment later Jesus added: “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.”
It’s important to see this context because it shows us that the truths of John 14 work in the most troubling times of life. These words weren’t spoken in the green pastures of Galilee on a cloudless spring day. They were spoken in a sealed room in a hostile city during a crisis in the face of impending doom. That’s why we know it’s able to reassure us, too, in life’s deepest valleys, darkest days, and strangest twists and turns. We trust in God and in God’s Son!
Eric Betz tells the story that while he grew up believing in God, nothing in his life demonstrated it. He occasionally attended church, but it was a chore. He was preoccupied with his family and pals, his job, and his girlfriend. Then in his late twenties everything fell apart. His parents separated, his friends moved away, he lost his job, and he and his fiancée split up. “At that point in my life, I lost all hope,” said Eric. “I experienced many sleepless nights because of anxiety and depression. I was looking for inner peace.”
Then one August day Eric found a pocket-sized Gideon New Testament in his apartment. Opening it, he found a page that said Where to Find Help, When… His eye fell on the reference for John 14:1, and he quickly searched through the pages for that verse. He read the entire paragraph, and suddenly his depression and anxiety faded. “I confessed to the Lord that I was a sinner and needed a Savior and asked Jesus to come into my life.” He instantly discovered a gift of inner peace that matched the words of Jesus: Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.
There is no trouble to which the heart of man is exposed that a belief in the doctrine of the Gospel is not calculated to purify and to alleviate. —Thomas Chalmers
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