Resetting Your TROUBLED Heart  

On the eve of all hell crashing in upon Jesus and his disciples, He coached them not to allow their hearts to be “troubled” (see John 14). That word ‘troubled’ was used in the ancient world for the agitating of water or the rioting of citizens. Jesus was telling His friends not to allow their hearts to become anxious or shaken. But they did. The raucous events of the next few days would leave the disciples anxious, weary and afraid. Afterward they would remember His teaching and finally find the calm and assurance that would carry them to the end.
If 2020 has made any impact on the world, it’s left a lot of people “stirred up” with nothing less than a riot unfolding in their hearts. The inner life of the average person is unsettled as “troubled waters”. Calm is not how I would describe the mood in our city. People are agitated, reactionary and fearful. So, the counsel of Jesus in the first century is as good today as when He spoke it. (In typical Canadian style we are working hard at appearing ‘calm’ while the truth tells a slightly different reality).
His instruction was to “stay calm”. His prescription was to stay calm by believing in God. And, in the same way, believe in Him. It’s quite simple for us Christians. Faith in God is the solution by which He installs peace in our hearts. That’s consistent with the logic of the book of Romans. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

I’m no EMT but I know that the first thing to remember in a crisis is to STAY CALM. Don’t you just want to say to the world “calm down”? Freaking out is only making the whole thing worse. But then I realize that staying calm, both internally and externally, is only truly possible for those who are trusting in the greatness and power of God the Almighty.

If you move on from the 1st verse of John 14 where Jesus told us to stay calm by faith, you’ll encounter His expanded teaching about the big house that God is building. Jesus teaches His followers that God is our Father and heaven is our home where each of His children have a place to belong. In essence, Jesus reminds us that God our Father greets the lost and afraid of the world with a warm “welcome home!” This truth is reflected in the famous words of Augustine “Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.

The storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the political dis-ease in our world is really a metaphor for the chaos of the human heart that is deeply troubled. And that trouble can only be cured through Jesus who said that He is “the way, the truth and the life.” No man comes to the Father except through Him. Staying calm is only possible by intimate belonging that is rooted in a satisfying relationship with God our Father offered to us through Jesus our Lord.

Jesus went on to tell the disciples a second time to say, “don’t be troubled and don’t be afraid” (John 14:27). The evidence that I am trusting God, as He said I should, is PEACE, i.e. “staying calm” in troubled times. I find that my heart needs a fresh reset almost daily in this world of constant bad news.

In the words of that famous British poster . . . “keep calm and carry on!”

See you soon!

Pastor Deric