Alan Hall, associational missionary
Mulberry Baptist Association
“Can I have a little peace and quiet?” I say as three grandchildren whirl around me. Then they smile and giggle and my heart is filled with joy. It makes me realize that peace doesn't always come with quiet. In our Bible study today we find it is possible to have peace in our hearts even when life is hectic around us.
B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth) is a familiar acronym appropriately setting the stage for our lesson. Jesus’ departure is near; He will have soon completed his earthly mission. Our Scripture passage, John 14:1‐7, is a portion of His last instructions to His disciples.
It may help our understanding of the context if we recall times when we have departed on mission trips, business trips, or even vacation trips. What was important to say? What would your last instructions include?
Departing instructions, whether written or verbal, are usually concise, urgent, and heartfelt.
We are instructing those we are leaving how to take care of business in our absence, things we need them to know and do. The intent is to have life continue on in a peaceful orderly manner. Jesus’ last instructions to his disciples known as the “Farewell Discourse” do likewise.
It is amazing how quickly our hearts rush to trouble. The disciples hear that Jesus will be leaving and immediately their hearts are troubled. Peter asks, “Where are you going?” “Why can’t I follow you?” He will become so troubled that he will deny Jesus repeatedly (John 13:38, John 18).
Thomas says, “We don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Thomas will become so troubled as to doubt the resurrection (John 20) and
Judas will betray Jesus altogether (John 18).
While serving as a pastor years ago, I had regular Sunday morning prayers with a precious, godly deacon. He often made this statement: “Lord help us, there is trouble on every hand.” We live in a world where trouble surrounds us and if not careful the news of the day can overwhelm us. Everyone seems to be at odds – nations, politicians, races, sexes, religions, cultures, and Christians.
The admonition for the disciples is an admonition for us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus understands our need for peace. The answer for a troubled heart is a trusting heart. “Believe in God; believe also in Me.”
Are you in trouble, in pain, in despair, in anger, in sin? Peace is found in Christ.
John 16:33: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” Trouble is assured; we will have trouble, but we don’t have to be troubled.
How do we have a heart with no trouble? Know Christ.
Death has a way of getting our attention concerning life. Everyone at some time or another has struggled with this thought: “What happens when I die?” When the funeral procession moves down the road and cars pull over and pedestrians stand and watch, people are pondering that question. We are exposed to death everyday in the news and on TV, the frailties of life must be considered as our heads are pillowed at night.
Peter’s question looms, “Where are you going?” and what an answer Jesus gives in verses 2‐6!
Countless times these verses have given peace and hope to people in anguish. Troubled hearts are comforted and peace is found knowing that we can trust in Christ. I find three blessed assurances here:
The verses in today’s study are a treasure of peace and comfort. I have seen firsthand the ministry of these words to families with troubled hearts. I recall being comforted personally at the time of my mother’s death by these precious words of Jesus.
She embraced these words of truth and testified of the peace she felt. Praise be to God! Can you recall such a testimony? Can you think of someone who needs to hear these words?
How can we know the way? Verse 6: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” The truth of life is that He is the way.
No one else is worthy, no one else could pay the penalty for our sins, there is no other way, there is no universal GPS with alternate routes to heaven – only Jesus. “No one comes to the Father but by Me.”
Our need for peace is satisfied by this amazing truth. We don’t have to be troubled by constantly wondering if we are good enough, if we have enough, or if we have done enough. Paul gloriously shared this in his testimony in Philippians chapter 4, he knew the way to peace – knowing Jesus!
I like having lots of options and choices but, sometimes it becomes troublesome, like trying to get a carload of people to choose where they want to eat or a church to decide carpet color. I give thanks that God made it abundantly clear that the way to know the Father is to know the Son. Our troubled hearts can be comforted and find the peace we need by trusting God.
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