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Knowing the Way - John 14:1-7

Here is the gospel word for you today: believing in Jesus is the remedy for troubled hearts. If you are lost and confused, then let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus is the way. If you are exhausted and jaded by trying to sort through piles of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies, then let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus is the truth. And if you are afraid of sickness, suffering, and death, then let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus is the life!

What your troubled heart needs is to know and believe that you belong to Jesus, that Jesus is preparing a place of joy and rest and blessedness for you, and that following Jesus will lead you into the eternal embrace of a loving Father. Brothers and sisters, let not your hearts be troubled! Believe in God; believe also in Jesus.

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples after explaining to them that He was going away, and they could not follow Him yet. Out of all the things that might trouble a heart, nothing is more troubling than to think about Jesus departing! Think about the person you love the most in all the world telling you that they were leaving you, and that you couldn’t follow? Wouldn’t your heart be troubled?

Now think about how your response to quarantine and the stay-at-home order. Not whether or not you think it is or was a good idea, but how your heart has responded to the God-ordained authorities ordering us to pursue the good of public health at the expense of the good of social interaction. We find it very difficult to trade the good right in front of us for something better in the future. The only way that such a bargain make sense is by faith, because we can only see the future by faith. The reason why the lockdowns in our country are so controversial is because many people don’t trust our elected officials or the media when they say that our future will be better if we follow their plan. But Jesus is worthy of your trust.

What the disciples needed to be able to put their troubled hearts back in balance was to believe in Jesus when He said that His absence would bless them, and that He would come back for them. Without that faith, all you have is a troubled heart. This means that if your heart is continually troubled, it’s a sign that you aren’t putting your faith in Jesus. So don’t be troubled, Jesus says. Believe in me. That’s what helps a troubled heart.

Jesus’ words to His disciples are for you as well: are you trusting in Jesus? Does your troubled heart rest in Him, not just in our current circumstances, but as the one who brings you to the Father? Nothing should trouble your heart more than not knowing what God thinks of you, and where you will spend eternity, and so nothing can be more comforting than knowing that you have a place in God’s house forever because of what Jesus has done. So believe in God; believe also in Jesus.

The way of Jesus involves trouble now, and glory later. The warning is that if you are looking for a trouble-free way that doesn’t require faith in Jesus, then you will never find your way to the Father’s house. No one comes to Father except this way, the Jesus way. There is no path to the Father’s house that does not go by way of the cross. The good news is that since Jesus’ way does lead to the Father, then you know the way to God!

And so here is the exhortation: when you find that your heart is troubled, believe in Jesus, find your life in Him, and follow His way, even when that way troubles your heart. Is your heart troubled by Jesus’ call to endurance and patience and submission to authorities? Is your heart troubled by the very real possibility of financial difficulty? Is your heart troubled by fear of disease and death, and where you will spend eternity? Are you tempted to look for an easier way?

The gospel of Jesus calls you bring your troubled hearts to Him. The way to the Father’s house leads through trouble, but it ends in glory. We can know that this is true, because Jesus walked that way, suffered and died, but was raised to life and now sits at God’s right hand. And because Jesus has defeated death and has life in Himself, He offers that life to all who believe in Him. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Come to the Father through Him, and may your troubled hearts find rest.

Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020 by CJ Bowen