Letting your heart be troubled

(This may end up being the gist of the message I bring forth in church next Sunday.)
The 13th chapter of the Book of John ends with a conversation between Jesus and Peter:

Peter: Where are you going?
Jesus: You can not go where I am going right now, but you will follow me later.
Peter: Why can I not follow you now? I am willing to die for you!
Jesus: You will die for me?  I do not think so.  As a matter of fact, you will deny that you know me three times before the rooster crows in the morning.

Those had to to hard words for Peter to hear.  Yet, the very next words Jesus says to Peter are, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe in Me.”  I hear Jesus telling Peter, “Trust me, Peter.”  After a few more words, Jesus says in John 14:16, you’re going to receive a Helper (the Holy Spirit) that will be with you (and verse 17 adds within you) forever.

Jesus is literally telling Peter that Peter cannot make it as Jesus’ disciple without the Helper.  He cannot follow or fulfil the plans God has for Him without God’s help.  As this sinks in, Peter likely recalls the disciples saying to Jesus (in John 6:60), “This is too hard…” and whispers an Amen under his breath.

The life of a follower is difficult because the enemy is never happy when you take a step in the right direction.  He will fight you all the way.  The enemy will use your possessions, your desires, and your insecurities against you.  He will use circumstances and people, even some who profess Jesus, to try to discourage you from believing that Jesus is at work.  It’s much easier to let our heart be troubled than it is to let not our heart be troubled.  And either letting or not letting is a decision you make.  The bottom line is that letting your heart be troubled is a work of the devil, and we are letting him have control when we submit to the worry.  Letting your heart not be troubled is a work of Jesus and your faith in what He is doing, knowing He brings good out of all things for you who love him.

I entrust you with this prayer from a book of prayers that friends gave me yesterday.  I used this as my morning devotion this morning and hope it is an encouragement to you.  Don’t just read it, but pray it.  Don’t rush through it.  Don’t just pray it once, but pray it over and over.  Save it on your phone and pray it every day if necessary – or even several times a day.  Trust Him and He will “ease and relieve and refresh your soul”.

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