Summary: Peace comes through Christ in spite of our circumstances.
All around are signs people have troubled hearts. In the United States of America, it’s common for Congress and the president to disagree on the country’s budget. Occasionally it reaches the point where there is the threat of the federal government shutting down.
Prison overcrowding is a continual challenge. The United States locks up a greater share of its residents than any other nation. The crime rate continues to rise in inner cities as people fight for existence.
The family is in decline. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. Sexual immorality is rampant. Sex outside of marriage and unfaithfulness within marriage are both common occurrences. Teen pregnancies are extrememly high as well as are the number of single parent families. Children suffer the effects of absent fathers.
Drug use is also high. Some states are lobbying for legalizing medical marijuana. Papers are filled with the news of drug arrests and crimes committed for the sake of drug use. Natural disasters destroy homes and belongings of people. Things they’ve worked for all their lives are being swept away.
Ethnic and religious rivalries have impacted many countries. And the world is still fighting the war against terrorism.
Examples of troubled hearts and why they are are rife. In our passage, Jesus instructs his disciples and us not to let our hearts be troubled. The disciples had reason for troubled hearts. One of them would betray Jesus with a kiss and sell him to the authorities. Another would deny on three occasions he even knew Jesus. Perhaps the most troubling thing is Jesus would soon leave them to return to heaven and they couldn’t go with him.
Three ultimate cures are found in these verses. They are ultimate cures for none of them may necessarily cure or bring relief from suffering, strife, trials or tribulations in this life. They are ultimately, however, the cure for troubled hearts.
I. TRUST CHRIST
Jesus told them not to let their hearts be troubled. He instructs them to believe in God and also in him. This then is the first ultimate cure for troubled hearts. We cannot separate the two for a belief in God must encompass a belief in his Son Jesus Christ.
The disciples were sick over what Jesus told them. He said one of them would betray him and another would deny him. He also told them he would soon leave and they couldn’t go with him. In the midst of this troubling time, he gives them an antidote-believe in him and God.
Already their world must have seemed empty because he said he was leaving. Their faith in him would keep their world from becoming a haunted house. In spite of all that would take place, he encourages them to trust in the goodness of God. Even though he would leave, they could and should continue to believe. Their strong belief in him would see them through his crucifixion and death.
We too need to listen to Jesus’ challenge to believe in God and him. It’s the ultimate cure for troubled hearts. To believe in one is to believe in both because Jesus says we can’t come to the Father except through him. We must trust by faith that he’s the only begotten Son of God. It involves a willingness to repent of our sins. He’s the only one capable of curing the sin problem in our life.
Beyond the initial experience of trusting him as Savior, it becomes a daily thing for us. This involves placing our lives under his complete control. He must be Lord of every area of our life. No matter the circumstance, we must trust him to do in our lives what’s best. Our belief in him will manifest itself in believing his word, prayer, supporting the work of his church and sharing his love with others.
Well known pastor Charles Spurgeon said; “Although we are sure that men are not saved for the sake of their works, yet we are equally sure that no man will be saved without them.”
Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, said; “When we have thus taught faith in Christ, then do we teach also good works. Because thou hast laid hold upon Christ by faith, through whom thou are made righteous, begin now to work well. Love God and thy neighbour, call upon God, give thanks unto him, praise him, confess him. Do good to thy neighbour and serve him: fulfill thine office. These are good works indeed, which flow out of this faith.”
II. BELIEVE THE PROMISE OF HEAVEN
Jesus speaks of many rooms. He doesn’t use the word heaven, but he captures the essence of it by referring to his Father's house. Some translations use the word “rooms” while others use “mansions.” The emphasis as it comes from the Greek is on a place to stay rather than its beauty. What Jesus is saying is that there’s room for all in heaven who trust him as their Savior.