John 14:1 says “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” This verse comes from Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples before his crucifixion. It is a profound statement of comfort and hope in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty.
To fully understand what Jesus meant, we need to consider the context. Jesus knew his earthly ministry was coming to an end. He knew the difficulties and persecution his followers would soon face after he was gone. So he spoke these words to reassure and encourage them in the difficult days ahead.
When Jesus says “Let not your hearts be troubled,” he is telling us not to let anxiety, fear, and worry overcome us. Even when facing trials, we can cling to faith in Christ and find peace. Jesus knew the disciples would grieve his departure, so he immediately points them to faith in God and himself. He wanted their focus to be on the eternal rather than the temporary troubles of this world.
The word “believe” means more than just intellectual assent. It includes the idea of trusting in and relying fully on God. Jesus tells us to trust in God’s sovereign plan and purposes, even when life does not make sense to us. We are to lean on and have confidence in God’s goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness. He will take care of us.
Jesus also says to “believe also in me.” Not only are we to have faith in God, but specifically in Jesus as God’s Son. Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God’s character and the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Trusting in Jesus means resting in his finished work on the cross for our salvation, believing he alone is the way to eternal life.
How do we let not our hearts be troubled? By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, spending time in God’s Word, crying out to God in prayer, worshiping God with other believers, and trusting the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness and intercede for us (Romans 8:26-27). The more we cultivate intimacy with Jesus, the more our faith will grow.
Letting not our hearts be troubled does not mean Christians will be exempt from pain and sorrow. But it does mean the peace of God is available to sustain us. This peace surpasses human understanding (Philippians 4:7). It comes from the Holy Spirit living within us.
Jesus also promises his disciples that one day they will be reunited with him in his Father’s house (John 14:2-3). For believers, this life is not the end. We have the hope of eternity with Christ to help us endure present sufferings. Death and despair do not have the final say.
In summary, “Let not your hearts be troubled” is an invitation from Jesus to trust him and take heart, even when life feels overwhelming. He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and prepares an eternal dwelling for us. When we walk closely with him, he will give us supernatural peace and the faith to withstand any storm.
1. Recognizing the source of trouble
The first key to letting not our hearts be troubled is recognizing where our anxiety comes from. Often we allow circumstances or people to shake us. However, Jesus tells us the true source of trouble is unbelief. If we place our faith in Christ, we can experience stability and calmness even when chaos swirls around us.
We see this modeled by the early apostles. After being flogged for preaching about Jesus, they rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering for his name (Acts 5:41). Despite dire circumstances, their hearts remained untroubled because their faith was firmly rooted in Christ.
No matter what happens, Jesus assures us his presence remains constant. We do not have to yield to anxiety, anger, despair, or bitterness. When we feel our hearts being troubled, we can take it as a reminder to set our eyes back on Jesus.
2. Believing God’s word over our feelings
Human emotions often fluctuate, but the promises of God never change. Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. This encourages us not to put ultimate stock in our ever-changing emotions, but rather to believe God’s word.
For example, when tragedy strikes, we may feel utterly forsaken. However, God assures us through Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you.” Believing this truth helps anchor our hearts when emotions threaten to overwhelm us.
Similarly, in moments of deep sadness, we can hold fast to the hope of Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” The joy Jesus gives is not contingent on circumstances. It comes from believing his word and trusting his promises.
Because feelings are fickle, we cannot always rely on them as an accurate barometer of God’s presence and care. But by faith, we can still let not our hearts be troubled.
3. Entrusting our lives to Christ
At the root of troubled hearts is often fear about our lives and futures. We worry about our loved ones, our basic needs, or what tomorrow holds. However, Jesus calls us to entrust every aspect of our lives fully to him.
1 Peter 5:7 says to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” This requires humility and vulnerability before God. We have to open our clenched hands and release our grip on situations beyond our control. But as we give Jesus our burdens, in return he grants us peace.
Entrusting our lives to Christ means surrendering control. Instead of carrying the weight ourselves, we trust Jesus to handle the situations causing distress. Rather than trying to orchestrate outcomes, we release the timeline and details to him. We trade our way for his way.
As God reminds us in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him.” Leaning fully on Jesus and submitting to his sovereignty lets our hearts remain untroubled despite uncertainty.
4. Embracing God’s purpose and plan
On a bigger scale, letting not our hearts be troubled involves embracing God’s overall purpose and plan. We can rest assured knowing all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). There are no accidents with God.
God uses every circumstance for his glory and our growth in Christlikeness. As we yield more of ourselves to his hands, we align more closely with his purposes. Our lives take on eternal significance when we walk out God’s plan for holiness and obedience.
Even amid suffering, we can have untroubled hearts when we see life through this lens. Our trials produce perseverance and character (James 1:2-4). Hardships equip us to come alongside others who are hurting (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Every experience prepares us for God’s intended work through our lives.
Keeping eternity in view gives perspective when life feels frustrating or meaningless. God is lovingly shaping us for greater intimacy with him and deeper Kingdom impact. That promise helps keep our hearts untroubled amid earthly troubles.
5. Relying on the Holy Spirit
We are not left on our own to maintain untroubled hearts. Jesus promised his disciples the Holy Spirit, who would teach them and remind them of his words (John 14:26). God’s Spirit lives within every believer and provides wisdom, guidance, and comfort.
Ephesians 3:16 prays that we would be “strengthened with power through [God’s] Spirit in [our] inner being.” When turmoil hits, we can ask the Holy Spirit to fortify our hearts and calm our minds. He helps us cling to truth and see from God’s perspective.
The Spirit also intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will when we do not know how to pray (Romans 8:26-27). He takes our feeble petitions and frustration and lifts them to the Father with divine insights. Through the Spirit, we gain access to the throne room of God (Hebrews 4:16).
Life may feel precarious at times, but the Holy Spirit keeps our hearts untroubled. He brings us comfort, wisdom, strength, and constant access to the Father, giving us all we need to weather the storms of life.
6. Cultivating intimacy with Jesus
At the core of letting not our hearts be troubled is cultivating greater intimacy with Jesus. The more we grow in relationship with him, the more our faith deepens and our trust expands. We must invest daily in our walk with Christ.
Colossians 2:6-7 instructs, “Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him.” The disciples walked closely with Jesus for three years. We grow deep roots in Christ through regular worship, Scripture meditation, prayer, and obedience.
As we fellowship with Jesus, his peace washes over us. Anxiety loosens its grip as we bask in his presence. Our churning thoughts quiet down as we focus on his face. The psalmist said, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8). Intimacy with Jesus brings security amid turmoil.
Experiencing God’s peace and comfort requires abiding in close relationship with him. We must devote ourselves daily to spending time in his Word, conversing with him, and lingering in worship. As we do, our hearts become increasingly untroubled.
7. Fixating on eternal perspective
One of the most important ways to let not our hearts be troubled is maintaining an eternal perspective. Life on earth is brief, but eternity awaits all believers. The troubles of this world are momentary and light compared to the glory to come (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Jesus assured his disciples he was going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house with many rooms. There we will dwell with him forever, unfettered by sin and suffering (John 14:2-3). This future hope helps us endure present trials.
Corrie Ten Boom aptly said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” When we concentrate too much on worries over the future, we forfeit joy and peace in the present. Keeping eternity in view helps us redeem today.
We can take comfort, knowing all pain and heartache will cease in glory. As Revelation 21:4 declares, “[God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.” An eternal perspective gives us stamina to press on toward that promise.
8. Remembering God’s faithfulness
One powerful way to maintain untroubled hearts is remembering specific times when God demonstrated his faithfulness. The Israelites set up stone memorials so future generations would remember the Lord’s proven trustworthiness (Joshua 4:20-24). We can do the same in our hearts.
Reflecting on past faithfulness reminds us that if God has carried us through before, he will sustain us again now. When we replay God’s goodness, it builds our trust in his dependability. He assures us in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Over time, this deposit of remembered faithfulness pays off. Psalm 77:11 declares, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Rehearsing God’s demonstrated power and care fortifies us against future anxiety.
No matter what storms we face, we can say with the psalmist, “[God] reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters” (Psalm 18:16). He has delivered us before, and he will deliver us again.
9. Practicing prayer and thanksgiving
Two vital spiritual disciplines that help us refrain from troubled hearts are prayer and thanksgiving. Communing with God provides comforting peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). Thanking God for his goodness helps us recognize his blessings and care.
Prayer invites God’s presence and peace into any situation causing distress. As Philippians 4:6 instructs, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Prayer transfers our worries to God’s capable hands.
Likewise, maintaining a spirit of gratitude keeps our focus on the Lord rather than our circumstances. God’s blessings far outnumber any troubles we face. Thanking God for his gifts, reminding ourselves of his rewards, and setting our minds on heavenly things all let not our hearts be troubled.
10. Leaning on the body of Christ
A final way to avoid troubled hearts is drawing strength and encouragement from the body of Christ. God designed believers to unite together, bearing each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Christian community provides support when trouble comes.
The love of the church reflects Christ’s care for his people. Fellow believers can pray with us, point us to Scripture, and help us process emotions and trials. Their godly counsel and empathy show us we are not alone. This lifts our spirits when life feels overwhelming.
God created each of us differently, so we can encourage those with gifts different than ours (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). As we humbly share struggles and accept care from fellow Christians, we reflect God’s heart for his children. Community nurtures untroubled hearts.
In summary, believers have access to supernatural peace in the midst of earthly chaos. By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, remembering God’s promises, relying on the Holy Spirit, giving thanks, praying, and connecting with other Christians, we can let not our hearts be troubled.