"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"    

John 14:27


     With these words our Savior reproves the unbelief that often disturbs the hearts of true believers. It is a reproof framed in kind, tender words of love and concern. But it is a reproof. He is telling us that we ought never be anxious, fearful and worried. He would have us cast all our care upon him, trusting him to provide for and protect us in all things (I Pet. 5:6-7).

     We generally accept worry as normal, acceptable behavior. But it is not. In a sense it is normal because it is natural, as natural as adultery. But worry is no more consistent with faith than adultery. For the believer it is neither normal nor acceptable. We must never be content to live with worried, troubled hearts. Troubled hearts arise from trouble in our hearts. It is not outward trouble that disturbs our hearts, but inward trouble. Sickness does not cause depression. If it did, all sick people would be depressed. Yet, I have seen some very sick people who were full of praise to God. Sin causes depression. Poverty does not cause complaint. If it did, all poor people would murmur against God. But I have known some very poor people who were happy and content with God's providence. Sin causes complaint. Troubled lives do not cause our hearts to be troubled. If that were the case, all who experience pain and sorrow would fret and worry. But I know some men and women whose lives are constantly filled with affliction, pain and sorrow, whose hearts are at ease before God. It is sin that causes our hearts to be troubled.

     "Worry" is a polite word for unbelief. It is an evil of my nature with which I have to struggle contin- ually.But it is an evil. It must not be excused. I must struggle against it. In the first part of this verse the Lord promises, "My peace, I give unto you." That is an act of his free and sovereign grace. He gives peace to faith. And he gives faith to receive peace. But when he says, "Let not your heart be troubled," he is addressing our responsibility to trust him. It is my responsibility and yours not to worry, but to believe God, always, in all circumstances, for all things. To you and me who believe, the Lord Jesus Christ says, "Stop worrying." That is the meaning of his words, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."


Don Fortner