Is your heart troubled? My guess is that most of us are troubled by a good many things, ranging from personal relationships to global crises. For sure, these issues are important, even significant, and how are we to be relevant and engaged, if we are not troubled in heart by the plight of those around us? Wouldn’t that make us unrealistic and uncaring?
In the days leading up to Jesus betrayal and crucifixion, when His disciples were about to face fear and confusion and hopelessness, Jesus said this: “Do not let your heart be troubled….” (John 14:1a NASB) What did He mean by that? Of course they were going to be troubled, terrified, even.
Essentially, in this chapter, Jesus is contrasting fear and faith. The rest of that verse goes like this: “…believe in God, believe also in Me.” The journey from fear to faith is one of choice. We get there on purpose. Our human ego will lie to us about this, convincing us that our emotions happen to us, that they are beyond our control, and that they are the real measure of things. Not true.
What is true is that fear is a real response that can be traded for peace and hope when we fix our eyes on Jesus and believe Him in our hearts. When He said, “Let not…,” He was saying it is possible. When the chaos around us is loud and demanding, we absolutely must acknowledge His preeminence, trust His character, and believe His story.
“…[He] upholds all things by the word of His power….” “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will wear out like a garment, and like a robe You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.” (Hebrews 1:3b;10-12 NASB)
Moving from the place of fear to the place of faith requires determined intentionality. A good marriage doesn’t just happen because you “fell” in love. It requires commitment. It requires determination. It requires building new habits of preferring the other. And, contrary to the idea espoused in the lyrics of that old song, it requires saying you’re sorry.
Moving in faith means constantly choosing to fix our eyes, believe in our hearts, and obey in our actions. Fixing our eyes is about focus. What has got your attention? Believing in our hearts is about devotion. Who has captured your heart? If Jesus has your attention, and you’ve allowed Him to capture your heart, obedience is the natural fruit of that love. “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 NASB)
Take a few minutes every day to love Jesus. Tell Him why you love Him, remember His goodness and faithfulness, and repent of your troubled and faithless heart. He really does want fellowship with you. He is, after all, the lover of your soul. When your soul is healthy, you can love Him, too.
Until next week, beloved, move from fear to faith by intentionally loving Him.