“Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me.” John 14:1 (TLB)
When your heart is troubled, what do you do? Where do you go? Is it even possible to not let your heart be troubled? Chapters 13-17 of John’s Gospel were all spoken in one evening as Jesus prepared His disciples for the trauma they were about to experience that night when He would later be arrested, put on trial and condemned to death. For three years, they had followed Jesus and witnessed His miracles. Their whole world was grounded in the faith that He was the Messiah. Surely, He would establish His Kingdom now. Even the crowds on Palm Sunday were convinced that He must be the promised King. But, neither the crowds nor the disciples anticipated what was about to happen that would rock their world. Their expectations were about to be dashed. Sufficient cause for a troubled heart!
When the things we expect and hope will happen don’t happen, we can get discouraged. When just the opposite happens and tragedy strikes, our hearts are troubled. Because Jesus understands the condition of our hearts better than we do, He offers three promises in this chapter that will bring peace to a troubled heart.
The first promise is found in John 14:1-2. Jesus encourages those who follow Him to put their trust in Him, not in their own understanding. Even when life doesn’t make sense, we can trust God. He’s got this! He’s in control! He’s still on the throne! He’s still God! And, then, He adds that He is leaving to “prepare a place” for those who trust Him. Where? He said, “… in my Father’s home.” This tells me that our heavenly home is a literal place that Jesus has gone to prepare ahead for those who follow Him. Wow! Think of it. The Bible says that God created the world in six days; yet, Jesus has been gone now some 2,000 years preparing a place for you and me. Imagine how amazing it must be! Our world, in all its beauty and grandeur, could never compare to the wonder of heaven! When troubles come, and surely they will, we don’t have to let our hearts be troubled because this world is not our home. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us! What a comfort to know!
The second promise that offers us peace when our heart is troubled is found in verse 3. He says that He is coming again to take us to our heavenly home where we will always be with Him! Nothing is permanent here; but, when Jesus returns to take us home, we will experience the fullness of our salvation! Until that day, Jesus offers a third promise to troubled hearts that will bring peace.
The third promise Jesus gives us is found verses 15-20 and, later, in chapter 16. Jesus said He would not leave us alone but would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell us so that the presence of Christ would always be with us through the eternal Spirit. In fact, one of the titles given for the Holy Spirit in verse 16 is “Advocate” that can also be translated “Comforter”. When our hearts are troubled, we have access to the Divine Comforter, the Holy Spirit who lives within us!
If your heart is troubled today, read John 14 out loud and hear the word spoken by Jesus to your heart:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT2)
Jesus offers the promise of a heavenly home, His return, and the presence of the Holy Spirit to comfort our troubled hearts. Meditate on verse 21 and enjoy the benefits of His manifest presence though obedience.