John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
I have preached many times on various parts of this first half of John 14, and verse 6 is one that I quote frequently, but at this moment I feel the Lord is speaking this first verse to me. We let our hearts be troubled by all sorts of things. The term used in the Japanese translation carries the feeling of stirred up, noisy, or very busy. What could be more applicable to the day we live in? The world around us is moving at a furious pace, and we find ourselves empathizing, at least, with the title of a Broadway hit of a few decades ago: Stop the World! I Want to Get Off! And that’s just life in general. Each of us has specific circumstances that put us into our own private storm. That’s why it’s so important that Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled/frantic.” Our wills have a great deal to do with it. We can’t control our circumstances much of the time, but we do have authority over our response to those circumstances, and that is what Jesus is talking about. The answer is faith/trust. I think the NIV translators were wise to use “trust” here rather than “believe,” because trust is very immediate and active, whereas believe can be abstract and theoretical. The answer to life’s storms isn’t philosophy, but rather an active commitment to the Lord who is above and greater than the storm. We don’t know about tomorrow, as the old Southern Gospel song says, but if we know Who holds the future and know that our hand is in His, then we can have peace regardless of our circumstances.
The reason the Lord spoke this to me right now is that my schedule is totally packed for the next month. We leave for America in less than two weeks, and there are lots of things to be done before then, including two graduations of schools where I teach and a host of other things. Then, the trip to the US covers four states and dozens of people, including the wedding of a granddaughter. It would be very much of a stretch to call it a vacation! Just this week we have had a memorial service at the request of the family of someone who died a year ago, and then a good friend died and we have been majorly involved in that. This is major training in trusting in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! However, God is more than worthy of our trust, and all that we are going through is absolutely no problem for Him. I will be performing two weddings today, and tomorrow after the service we have a farewell party for a church member who is moving to Kyrgyzstan, and then more things each day after that. I have to choose not to let my heart be troubled! Choice made, I can rest, relax, and rejoice in my Lord, as He told me to do many years ago. He is able, and that’s enough.
Father, thank You for this Word this morning. Thank You that we’ve been able to allow some Rehabilitation College students study here over the past two weeks for their National Board Exam on Sunday. They have their own internal storm right now! I pray that each of them, and especially the one who is a member here, would choose to trust You and allow You to quiet their storm and enable them to do their best, and even beyond their own ability. May they, and we, be drawn to You by our storms, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!