The Only Thing That Stops Fear - Guidelines Devotional

The Only Thing That Stops Fear

Guidelines for Living Daily Devotional
August 24, 2020

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  John 14:1

Jesus was meeting with the disciples in an upper room, behind doors which hid him from public scrutiny--at least for the moment.  His words flowed from His heart.  He said--probably quietly and with great confidence--"Stop letting your hearts be troubled!"  Verbs in Greek convey a definite kind of action that they do not convey in English, and the one that Jesus used indicated that worry and concern had begun a long while before and was continuing.  But He says, "Stop doing it."

The Greek word which is usually translated "to be troubled" means to be disturbed or upset. It can also mean terrified or frightened.  Used of water, it meant to stir something up.  If you put two ingredients in a glass and shook it vigorously, you would use the same word.

Simply put, the word describes someone who is really bothered and upset by a situation. The disciples who met with Jesus in that upper room had plenty of reason to be disturbed.  Earlier in the week Jesus had evoked the anger of the religious community as He went into the temple and dumped over the tables of the money changers.  They were angry and now consider Him to be an enemy.

Moments before, Jesus had taken off His outer garments, draped Himself in a towel, and then washed the feet of the disciples. Then, looking into their eyes, He announced that one of them was a traitor who would deny Him.  Peter, making sure which side he was on, announced that he would never deny his Lord, yet Jesus said that before the cock would crow, Peter would deny Him three times.

I'm convinced, however, that as Jesus looked at the twelve and said, "Don't worry; don't be afraid," he looked far beyond those who sat around that table.  He saw the young couple whose child was born with Downs Syndrome. He saw the husband whose wife of ten years would succumb to cancer, leaving a bewildered, confused husband with two small children.  He saw the widow whose husband was buried shortly after he had just reached retirement age, thinking that, at last, they could travel and enjoy life.

What troubles you today?  Is it a matter of indifference to God, or does what Jesus said speak to the need of your heart? Can you apply what Jesus said--"Stop worrying; stop being afraid" to your life?  Why not?

He then gave them reason for confidence:  "You believe in God; believe in me."  It was true!  They did believe in God.  From the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob their forebears had believed in God.  It's no different today.  Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians all believe in God.  What politician won't end his speech with a hearty, "God bless our great country!"  But, said Jesus, "Believe also in me."

If the record is true, stating explicitly that Jesus lived, died and rose again, He is alive today and can do something about the circumstances which distress you.  Far too often we struggle with issues as though there were no God, as though Christ had never stilled the troubled waters and said, "Peace, be still!"

How often we toss and turn at night and struggle with depression by day because those words have not penetrated our hearts.  He still stays, "Stop worrying, stop being agitated over the circumstances of your life. Believe in Me!"

The faith factor can make all the difference in your life.  Listen, and in the quietness of your prayer closet, you will still hear the echo of Jesus' words, and it will bring peace to your heart.

Resource reading: John 14:1-14.

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