Anxiety Slayer

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), October 30

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).
Like a piece of driftwood carried to and fro by the waves of the sea, so the heart is easily moved from hard to soft, humble to proud, happy to sad, peaceful to anxious, and vice versa. Jesus addresses the possibility of a troubled heart—“Let not your hearts be troubled”—and the possibility of a resting heart—“you believe in God, believe also in Me” (14:1).

Jesus’ death will certainly bring trouble to the disciples’ hearts, but His promises regarding His resurrection will bring peace.

Why does Jesus address the troubled heart?

Troubles affect the heart. People’s hearts are often filled with anxious care caused by:
Death
Injustice
Rejection, betrayal, and slander
Bad news (health or financial)
Family problems
Politics

The wisdom writer, in Proverbs 12:25, declares depression as a symptom of a troubled heart: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” So, whatever enters the heart of man shows up in a multitude of ways. The “good word” transforms a troubled heart.

Jesus’ words, “Do not let,” imply that the disciples bear the responsibility for the stability of their hearts and that peaceful hearts in the midst of great trials are actually possible. It will be up to the disciples to rein in their troubled hearts, like the Psalmist did in Psalms 42-43, when he said to his soul, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? . . . Hope in God.”

Jesus not only gives us a command regarding trouble, “Fear not,” but also His cure to a troubled heart, “Trust in the Lord,” in the midst of an anxiety-producing world, where depression eats away at the core of people’s lives. Jesus offers genuine peace. His Word speaks a true antidote to the heart’s fears.

Jesus reveals a number of truths in His instruction regarding the lack of peace in troubled times:

Jesus is the source of peace.

  • Every man experiences trouble. Either he manages the trouble himself, or he comes to Jesus and experiences peace.
  • Jesus’ substitutionary death and subsequent resurrection assure peace to hearts troubled by sin.
  • Peace calms the anxious hearts and minds of those who believe God’s Word, regardless of what they see and experience in the natural realm.

Troubles may loom large, but man’s capacity for peace and God’s supply of peace surpass any problem. No anxiety is too large for the anxiety-Slayer!

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Jn. 13:31-38; 14:1-15:17; Mk. 14:27-31; Mt. 26:31-35; Lk. 22:31-38):
Beginning in Genesis 3:15 and throughout the Old Testament, God foretells of the judgment to come and the advent of the Messiah. Jesus continues this tradition throughout His ministry. How does Jesus prepare His disciples for their betrayal and His resurrection?
What does Jesus’ teaching in John 14 and 15 reveal about the Father and those who are truly His?