He lives to wipe away my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart;
He lives all blessings to impart.
We share a lot with people who have troubles and of course this is the current topic. I suppose we are a listening ear and hopefully offer some comfort, perspective and sound advice as we point them to eternal truths. Apart from the current virus situation we all deal with a variety of troubles.
Job famously had a lot of troubles. His three friends came over to comfort him. Although their advice was faulty and certainly not the final word Eliphas offers a rather timeless observation, “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). What a pithy, timeless description of the inevitability of troubles! I’ve been burning scrap pieces of wood from our barn project and I can observe some 4000 years later that the sparks still fly upward and we still have troubles!
Our first text is a comforting word from Jesus, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” That is a great verse to memorize and preach to oneself. Jesus taught about a rich man who preached a deceptive message to himself, “And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry'”. “But God said to him, ‘You fool!'” (Luke 12:19,20). Today we encourage you to preach this bold statement of faith to your own heart by saying aloud, “I will not let my heart be troubled. I will trust in God”. Speak it as often as your heart needs to hear it.
I am so thankful for the words of our Lord Jesus in this passage! “I have told you these things…” “These things” are included in His final teaching to the disciples prior to His death on the cross. He knows their future will include uncertainty and peril due to their decision to follow Him. But He shares with them the way to find peace in the midst of conflict, “so that in Me you may have peace”.
Our Lord readily acknowledged and prepared His disciples for the reality of inevitable trouble (or “tribulation”) in His matter of fact declaration, “In this world you will have trouble”.
Have you considered that the presence of trouble in your life is evidence of Christ’s truthfulness and faithfulness? After all He did say, “In this world you will have trouble”.
Have you ever met a believer going through a difficult trial who in faith joyfully declares to others, “God is keeping His promise” in regard to the trial in progress? I heard a brother give a testimony to the veracity of Scripture regarding this promise as he was going through a great trial. It stunned those of us who listened on as we witnessed his victorious testimony in the very midst of trouble.
Thankfully, the stirring promise includes an underlying peace, “so that in Me you may have peace”. Christ’s desire is that His followers have this peace, surely meaning in this case the sense of emotional and spiritual rest and much needed assurance that can only come through a fervent, growing relationship with the Peacemaker Himself. The apostle Paul wrote, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Hear the assuring message of our Lord and apply it to your heart today: “But take heart! I have overcome the world!” I’ve added the exclamation point because I believe that’s the tone of how Christ spoke these consoling words.
He spoke these words with absolute confidence even before His agony in Gethsemane, His innocent suffering at the hands of guilty accusers, and His death on the cross at Calvary. He knew His Father had everything under control. And our Father still has everything under control. He always does! Let us experience His abiding peace today as we commit ourselves to His unfailing love and unfolding plan in the midst of the undesirables of our day.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber