“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1, N.K.J.V.)
Some people just have to worry, even when there is nothing happening that is worrisome. They are like the patient in the mental hospital who was sitting with his ear placed right up against the wall. When the attendant came into the room to give him his dinnertime meal, the patient motioned the attendant over to him and said, “Put your ear up against this wall and tell me what you hear.” The attendant obliged and said to the patient, “I don’t hear anything.” The patient answered, “I know, it’s been like that all day. What do you think they are up to out there?”
Jesus said to His apostles, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” The teaching is: A troubled heart and belief in Jesus should be incompatible. On another occasion, He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28, N.K.J.V.). The teaching there is: Jesus has the Christian safely and securely in His hand.
By combining the two teachings, we learn that since Jesus has the Christian safely and securely in His hand, the Christian’s heart should never be troubled. I should also mention that the Greek word translated as “know” in Jesus’ quote, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them…” is ginosko. It is the specific Greek word that describes the most complete and comprehensive knowledge possible.
This same Greek word is used in John 10:15 in reference to how Jesus and God the Father know each other, and it’s also used in Luke 16:15 in reference to how God knows the hearts of individuals. Just how deeply intimate is this word? It’s enough so to refer to sexual relations in Matthew 1:25 to describe the relationship Joseph didn’t have with Mary before she gave birth to Jesus (“…and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.”). That, Christian, is how well Jesus knows you and all the potentially worrisome problems and situations you are facing.
With this in mind, your response to His words, “Let not your heart be troubled” should be, “Okay, Jesus, thank You. Forgive me for worrying.” Don’t be like the guy who took an egg out of the carton and swallowed the egg whole to win a bet. Once he realized the stupidity of what he had done, he started to worry. He first worried that if he moved, the egg would break inside him and cause him stomach trouble. That resulted in him sitting motionless for hours. But then he started to worry that him sitting motionless like that would cause the egg to hatch!
Look, I get it that life comes complete with events and problems that will cause concern in any right-thinking individual. I mean, let’s face it, some bullies aren’t all bluff, some dogs do bite, and sometimes the diagnosis is cancer. Jesus Himself got betrayed, arrested, tried, and crucified, and (if historical tradition can be trusted) each of the apostles (except for Judas Iscariot) died as martyrs. Still, in spite of everything that life can and does throw at us, Jesus says, “I’ve got you, so don’t worry.”
Think of it this way, Christian, the worst this world can do to you is kill you, and that will just get you promoted to your heavenly home where you will never again experience pain, sorrow, regret, and heartache. Perhaps that’s why Jesus could be so adamant in telling His followers not to worry. Again, no one is saying that life is always easy. The key is to not let your appropriate concerns cross the line into sinful worrying. You must replace your fear with faith, your turmoil with trust, and your worry with worship. Remember, the sovereign God of all creation, the Savior who died on a Roman cross in order that all your sins could be forgiven, loves you with a perfect love, knows you intimately, and has you in the palm of His hand. You never walk alone. You are never out His sight. And your eternal future is always secure. Therefore, even when certain people really are up to something out there, your belief in Jesus should keep your heart from getting troubled.