Sunday, March 7, 2021
“A Settled Heart”
by Dianne Prince
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. John 14:1 (NIV)
We have all expected one thing and another thing happened. We have all gotten accustomed to things being one way and they change in an unexpected way. We have all grown comfortable with certain people, environments, and set-ups, only to find that people leave, environments change and set-ups transition.
In our scripture this morning, Jesus is in the upper room with His disciples. He washes their feet to teach them how to serve. He tells them, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15) Jesus predicts that Judas will betray Him. He exclaims to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” He tells His disciples He will be going away, and the disciples can not go with Him. “Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” (Matthew 13:33,36) And then, Jesus predicts Peter [the disciple Jesus loved] will deny Him. “I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” (Matthew 13:38)
Jesus tells the disciples these things to prepare them for His death. What He tells them troubles the disciples’ hearts. Their hearts are heavy. Their spirits are disturbed. It was too much for them to comprehend—betrayal by Judas, abandonment by Jesus, denial by Peter, and the disciples can not go with Jesus when he goes away.
The disciples expected Jesus to be with them always. They anticipated always walking with Him, talking with Him, sitting under His teaching, soaking in lessons from His parables, travelling with Him as Jesus preached and being His armor bearer as He ministered to crowds in need. It was heart wrenching for the disciples to learn Jesus was going away. After all, they had given up all they had to follow Him. They had given up the fellowship of their family, the security of their jobs, and the stability of their homes. Their expectation was that Jesus would deliver them from Roman oppression and would set up His kingdom on earth. And now He is going away!? “What’s up with that?”, they wondered.
Jesus senses the disciples’ worry, their dejection, their anxiety, their heaviness, their despair and their concern. He comforts them with these words, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-3
In our lesson this morning we learn that a troubled heart comes from fear—fear of the unknown; fear of what the future holds. It comes from staring at the present with uncertainty of the future. Jesus tells us to move from the past, look beyond the present and embrace the future. Jesus tells us do not be troubled by looking back at what was. Do not be overwhelmed by what is right now. But look forward to the possibilities of the future. Look forward to the unseen, the assured blessings God has for you in the future.
People come and people go. Do not be troubled. Issues come and issues go. Do not be troubled. People make promises and people change their mind. Do not be troubled. Circumstances come and circumstances go. Do not be troubled.
How do you keep a settled heart? Keep life in perspective. This world and all that is in it is just temporary. Death of a loved one, as heartbreaking as it is, is just temporary. Do not allow your heart to become unsettled during the process of grieving. . Joblessness is temporary. Lack of money is temporary. Hardships are temporary. Do not be worried. Do not be troubled. Do not allow you heart to become unsettled. Why? This world and everything in it are temporary. This world is a pit stop on your way to glory. Jesus is the only thing that is permanent. Settle in with Him.
More daily inspiration can be found in the book Stronger and Wiser by Dianne Prince.