Jesus words in John 14, “Do not let your heart be troubled…” have brought great comfort to Christians through the ages. But there is a good reason Jesus told his disciples this. Sitting in that upper room, there was a lot to be troubled by. The crescendo of opposition against Jesus from the religious leaders was growing to a fever pitch. They were out to get Jesus, and everyone knew it. In fact, Jesus had just predicted his own death. He had just spoken to them of judgment, of Peter’s denial and of one of them who would betray him. Their hope Jesus would throw off the chains of Roman tyranny and change their worlds for the better dashed. It looked like this whole thing was going to end in tragedy. It was a tense time.
So these words, “Do not let your heart be troubled…” were greatly needed. But more importantly, Jesus went on to tell his beloved followers the reason why they did not need to be worried. Some of his reasons included:
- He was going to prepare a place for them (vss. 1-3)
- He would come back for them (vs. 3)
- They were acquainted with the way, the truth and the life (vs. 6)
- They could ask for whatever they needed and it will be supplied (vss. 13-14)
- They would not be left alone as orphans (vs. 18)
These reasons alone are enough to calm us in troubled times, but I see two over-arching reasons spelled out in this chapter for our peace in troubled times: the loving care of our Father and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
First, the Father knows us intimately and cares about every detail of our lives. Amazingly, in this one chapter, we see the word “Father” twenty one times! Jesus is reassuring his followers their Father knows all and is in control of all. Knowing God is both sovereign and on our side can bring peace to any situation. We can relax in the Father’s love and purpose.
Secondly, he has promised the continual presence of the Holy Spirit. The promise of God’s presence with his people is a theme throughout the Bible. He has made a covenant of presence with those who follow him. The fear of abandonment need never be an issue with God’s chosen.
Whether he calms the storm or calms his child in the midst of the storm, the result is the same. This peace is not like worldly, temporary peace; it is God’s peace, sure, eternal and providing everything we need. We can rest in that!