How Our Hearts Easily Become Troubled!
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.
John 14:1 (NLT)
We are not surprised that the Apostles were troubled. After all, Jesus had announced that one of them was a traitor, and then He warned Peter that he was going to deny his Lord three times.
Self-confident Peter was certain that he could not only follow his Lord, but also even die with Him and for Him. Alas, Peter did not know his own heart, nor do we really know our hearts, except for one thing: our hearts easily become troubled.
Perhaps the heaviest blow of all was the realization that Jesus was going to leave them (John 13:33).
Where was He going?
Could they go with Him?
How could they get where He was going?
These were some of the perplexing questions that rumbled around in their minds and hearts and were tossed back and forth in their conversation at the table.
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
Jesus had just told His disciples not to let their hearts be troubled as they were about to enter into the worst crisis of their lives. Here, He began to speak about heaven.
What does heaven have to do with us keeping our hearts at peace?
Well, even if everything in this life looks terrible, we Christians always have the promises of total victory in heaven. If every time we think we see light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be another train, then we can always just close our eyes and think about our great reward in heaven. That will keep our hearts from being troubled.
Also, thinking about being with the Lord through all eternity helps put things in a proper perspective. It is easy to get fearful in our problems and think all is lost. However, for those of us who are born again, if worse came to worse, we still have the promise of Jesus wiping all the tears from our eyes (Revelation 21:4) and preparing a habitation for us where all the former sorrows will be passed away. This keeps us from despairing and makes us much stronger in our faith.
When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
John 14:3 (NLT)
John 14:3 is a clear promise of our Lord’s return for His people. Some will go to heaven through the valley of the shadow of death, but those who are alive when Jesus returns will never see death (John 11:25-26). They will be changed to be like Christ and will go to heaven (1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Since heaven is the Father’s house, it must be a place of love and joy. When the Apostle John tried to describe heaven, he almost ran out of symbols and comparisons! (Rev. 21-22) Finally, he listed the things that would not be there:
- night, etc.
What a wonderful home it will be—and we will enjoy it forever!
“And you know the way to where I am going.”
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
John 14:4-5 (NLT)
Thomas’ question revealed his keen desire to be with Jesus (see John 11:16), and this meant that he had to know where the Master was going and how he himself would get there. The Lord made it clear that He was going to the Father, and that He was the only way to the Father. Heaven is a real place, a loving place, and an exclusive place. Not everybody is going to heaven, but rather only those who have trusted Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:4-6).
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 (NLT)
Jesus does not simply teach the way or point the way; He is the way. In fact, “the Way” was one of the early names for the Christian faith (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). Our Lord’s statement, “No one can come to the Father except through me,” wipes away any other proposed way to heaven—good works, religious ceremonies, costly gifts, etc. There is only one way, and that way is Jesus Christ.
How would this assurance of going to heaven help to calm the disciples’ troubled hearts?
Dr. James M. Gray put it beautifully in a song he wrote years ago: “Who could mind the journey, when the road leads home?” The assurance of a heavenly home at the end of life’s road enables us to bear joyfully with the obstacles and battles along the way. It was this assurance that even encouraged our Lord, “because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). Paul had this truth in mind when he wrote, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later” (Rom. 8:18).
The Walk Of Faith
A key word in John’s Gospel is “believe.” Faith is important to our understanding of Scripture and to the Spirit’s activity in our lives. Faith, like love, evidences itself in obedience. Faith approaches God boldly to receive from Him.
Recognize that Jesus is the only way to God. Know Jesus to know God.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I will not allow my heart to become troubled, distressed, or terrified. I believe in my Father and I believe in Jesus.
Where my Father lives there are many mansions and one of them belongs to me. Jesus, my friend, brother, Savior, and Lord, has gone on before me to prepare it. He who knows me better than I know myself is customizing a home for me in heaven designed specifically to fit my needs and personality. Right now, at this very moment, I have a home in heaven. I have an address there! I am actually a member of heaven’s community! My mansion is awesome to behold!
I am continually in Jesus’ thoughts and in His heart. He is coming for me one day to receive me unto Himself. It brings Him great joy to know that where He is, I will be also.
I know the way into my Father’s presence. It is through Jesus alone. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is no way for me to reach the Father, but through Him.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen!