Chapter 14 of John’s gospel begins with Jesus saying to His closest disciples “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Near the end of the chapter, Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” In between, He gives His followers many words of encouragement because they needed it. Why?
Leading up to this, Jesus had just told them “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me,” predicting Judas would soon turn Him over to be killed. Since He knew He would be raised again and ascend to heaven, He had to tell them: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” Then, in front of all the others, He told Peter, who had just offered to die for Jesus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.”
In quick succession, this small group of 12 disciples were told that 2 of them would soon be unfaithful, and that their leader would soon be leaving them. They must have felt devastated and troubled in their hearts. Had they given up so much for Jesus, only for it to fall apart? Likewise, when we’re bombarded with bad news in quick succession, our heart may tell us to be troubled, but “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Instead of listening to our gut feeling or our instincts, the only one in whom there is no deceit – Jesus – says to trust Him. He says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
If you’re troubled with something today, bring it to Him and ask Him for His peace. It can overcome anything.