Peace for a Troubled Heart

[Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

I clearly remember hurrying down a hallway at the University of Saskatchewan, heading towards and classroom and thinking, with a frantic heart, about all of the deadlines I face for assignments that I needed to complete combined with the upcoming mid-term exams for which I needed to study. As I rushed to my next class, I repeated over and over to myself these words of Jesus, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” Those words comforted my troubled heart and Jesus carried me through that challenging time just as he promised he would do (see Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus is telling us two things in this verse. First, when our hearts are troubled, we are the ones who are letting them get that way. Troubling circumstances are unavoidable, but a troubled heart is avoidable. When I take my eyes off Jesus and focus on the challenges in my life and then try to handle those challenges on my own, I tend to get anxious and worried.

Second, Jesus is telling us that the key to a peaceful heart is to believe in him. In theverses that follow John 14:1, Jesus explains how believing in him will bring us peace. Jesus has conquered death for us, and since Jesus has already done that great thing for us, he is also able to handle the smaller things for us too.

The invitation to believe in Jesus is not only to trust him with the big things in life, like forgiveness, salvation and eternal life, which are all completed by Jesus for us. Theinvitation to believe in Jesus is also an invitation to trust him with the little things, a moment-by-moment relationship of listening, learning and following. It is like a novice hiker who follows a friend, who is a very experienced guide, on a trail that the novice has never been on before. We follow Jesus knowing that he guides us, helps us and carries us along the way. And the sight at the end of the trail will be glorious!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me to trust you not only with my death, but also with my life. Draw me closer to you and help me to follow you and trust you in all things. Please give me peace in my heart, regardless of what is happening around me. In your beautiful name I pray. Amen.

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