Let me share with you why these verses are so important to me. The very first line says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” When I read the word “let” it tell me that I have a choice in the matter. I can literally choose whether to allow my heart to be troubled or not. Do you see this? Other translations say “Your mind must not be troubled; You must not let yourselves be distressed; or Set your troubled hearts at rest.” Regardless of how you read this, the message is the same; it is up to us. So many times we default to responding to our situations instead of rising above them. To rise above a situation means that you decide not only how you will respond to the situation, but also how you will allow the situation to affect you. Jesus is our example of how we should live on this earth. When He was performing miracles, His disciples marveled at what He did. Jesus told His disciples not to marvel because greater works they would be able to do. If Jesus is our example and He expects that we would do greater works than He did while He was on earth, the least we should be able to do is to begin to model His behavior. We may not get surpassing His miracles, but we can model His actions, His love and His dependence on His Father.
We can choose not to have our hearts troubled. There are some things that will bother us no matter how strong our faith is, but the strength comes in how we respond to the situation. Jesus asked us not to allow our hearts to be troubled – but to believe in God and in Him. He reminds us that life on this earth is temporary and He has prepared a place for us that will exist through out all of eternity. If we see life here as temporary and our true life starting once we enter into God’s presence, we can start changing our responses to everyday situations. This does not mean we stop caring or living, it just means that our responses are different. Jesus said He has prepared a place for us and that He will come again to receive us. Just as the groom before he receives his bride goes out and prepares a place for them to live, so have Jesus done for us. He has prepared a place for us and will come again and will receive us.
III. Troubles Vs. Blessings
When I started this message, I told you that there are those who believe that you have troubles when you are out of God’s will and therefore you are not being blessed. There are those that will tell you that you can only be blessed when you are giving money to the church or doing good deeds. I want to ask you a question “Do you think that Jesus ever woke in the morning asking the question ‘What do I need to do today so that My Father will bless me?” I have read the Bible through many times and I cannot remember one scripture where Jesus asked His Father what could He do that day so that God would bless Him. I cannot remember one scripture that gives us the formula to ensure that we receive a blessing from God everyday. Why, because it is not required. If Jesus is truly our model for our relationship with God (and I believe He is) then the relationship that He has with God the Father should be the relationship that we have with Him also. We do not have to work for God’s blessings. We are blessed because we belong to Him.