“‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” – John 14:1
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
Have a think about these verses. What has a grip on your heart? Think about the things that trouble you. Perhaps you’re dealing with financial need, relational stress, difficult circumstances, or lingering illness. What are we supposed to do with all the challenging situations we face? Jesus’ words can seem like a pat answer to our very real dilemma because saying, “Do not let your heart be troubled” doesn’t change our feelings.
However, a more accurate interpretation is, “Be troubled no longer.” Jesus isn’t saying that we are to deny our feelings and put on a happy face, but rather that we’re not to let anxiety conquer us. Yes, we will experience trials, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can endure struggles with the peace of Christ.
But how do we move from overwhelming distress to undisturbed tranquility? Begin by focusing immediately on the Lord, not on the circumstance, trusting Him to help you through it. Read the Scriptures so you can understand His perspective on the problem and search out His promises. Then believe God and do whatever He says because you can never have His peace without obedience. And lastly, present your troubles to the Lord in prayer, not just with requests for their removal, but with thanks for His strength to endure them.
The next time you feel a rush of fear or anxiety, remember Jesus’ remedy: “Believe Me!” (vv. 1, 11). If you trust that He loves you and has a good purpose for allowing that difficulty in your life, you can thank Him no matter what you feel or what the outcome may be. Faith always ushers in His peace.