Summary: Jesus’ counsel to the troubled disciples in John 14 provides the answer to discouragement. We need to (1) trust God fully, and (2) recall what He has said.
14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."
How do you get up when you’re down?
• Listen to Jesus. The disciples were at this point very troubled to hear that Jesus would leave them.
• And Jesus knew that. What can He say?
How are you going to comfort someone who is sad, when you know that the road ahead will not be easy?
• What can you say to them, if you know that they will most like face persecutions and hard times ahead?
• We can’t change the circumstances, so what words of comfort do you have?
We need to listen to Jesus here.
• If He is One who truly understand human needs and sorrow, then His words of comfort are worthy of our attention.
• His answer will be the antidote to troubled hearts today.
Are you sad about some things? Discouraged? Listen to what Jesus said here.
(1) Trust in God, trust also in me.
That’s His first response - faith! We need to trust Him!
• The circumstances will be tough, but we can trust God.
• Each time we’re troubled, this is what we need to apply.
• We need to tell ourselves, “Just trust Him!”
Jesus’ answer sounded so simplistic, but that’s the real issue.
• We are troubled because we just couldn’t trust Him fully.
• When some men came to tell Jairus, the synagogue ruler, “Your daughter is dead, don’t bother Jesus any more.” (Mark 5:35) Jesus answer was simple: “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
• Too simplistic, we may say. We need to DO something!
• Very often, the something we can do is to leave it to God.
Trust me, Jesus says. “Can you really trust me?” that’s the question.
• No wonder we’re troubled, the real problem is that we just cannot truly trust Him.
• That’s why many have said that the problem is not the problem. It is our attitude to the problem.
• I’m sure most of us have read the “Serenity Prayer” printed on bookmarks or cups: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” That’s the ability to trust God and be at peace.
ILLUSTRATION: You’re In Good Hands
Dr. W. A. Criswell talks about the kind of faith we have by comparing it to an operation. If you’ve ever had surgery, you go in and the anaesthetic is administered usually by a mask. They tell you to count to 3 and you will be out. They put the mask over your face and you think to yourself that the gas is never going to be able to knock you out. You confidently count 1, and then you’re out like a light. You put yourself into the hands of the surgeon completely. You’re as helpless as a newborn baby.
It is not only the committal of our lives - it is not only full trust, but it is the abandonment of any hope of any kind in anyone else or in any other way. It is a resignation of ourselves to Christ. There is nothing else to save. There is no one else to turn to.
It is easy for us to trust in things that we can see and touch.
• We have a little bit of Thomas in us.
• Remember, Thomas said, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands & put my fingers where the nails were, & put my hand into His side, I will not believe it." (John 20:25).
• John 20:29 “Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
• Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God…”
Someone puts it: “Faith is a walk in the dark with your hand firmly planted in the hand of a God you can’t see.”
Don’t see God through the lens of trials. See trials through the lens of God.
So what is true faith in action? The Bible shows us…
o Abel believed God and offered a sacrifice.
o Noah built an ark. Abraham packed up his belongings and left home without knowing where God was leading him.
o He also laid his son on an altar, to offer him up.
o David went out and fights Goliath with stones in his hand.