Jesus famously told His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). His disciples found that encouragement difficult to understand and accept.
We find it hard as well. Life is filled with trouble and anxiety. Life with all its complexity gets us down.
More than ever, we need to hear the counsel of Jesus to not let our hearts be troubled.
Why is this such an important command?
First, trouble has a life of its own. If we let ourselves get overwhelmed with trouble, we create even more trouble for ourselves. If our trouble causes depression or hopelessness, we will find ourselves with worse circumstances. We truly need to believe Jesus even as we believe God.
Second, trouble creates other issues in life. Our children need us to reassure them with our presence and with God’s goodness.
As we move from one panic situation to the next, we are in danger of instilling chronic anxiety in our children. Think of all the things our children are being bombarded with. Today they worry over the Coronavirus, but they have also been told that global warming will destroy the planet within twelve years. Our panicky politics is creating real anger and worry in our youngest generation.
Our children need to be taught to pray and to trust. They need to hear of a God of love and care. That is what Jesus told His disciples. Their trouble–His going away–was to prepare a home for them indestructible and of immense beauty and joy.
Third, focusing on trouble keeps us from focusing on the answer to our needs. Instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus, we tend to gaze at the trouble. We must not let our troubled hearts keep us from the peace of God.
Finally, troubled hearts are ungodly. If we fill our hearts (and minds) with worry and fear, we drive out our trust in our great God. Instead, we need the perfect love of God that casts out fear (1 John 4:17-18).
Let us be that people who seek God with all our hearts and who let Him immerse us in His Love.
Tomorrow we will look at how to not let our hearts be troubled.