“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.” - John 14:1
Jesus’ words of assurance in this familiar verse offer incredible comfort – so much comfort, in fact, that it’s easy for us to forget that Jesus said them just hours before he was crucified. His concern at the end of his life was not for himself, but for those who would continue the work he had begun.
The first words Jesus gave his disciples on his final night with them centered on love – his love for them and his expectation of their love for each other. In fact he gave his disciples “a new commandment” to love one another. The next words to his disciples centered on faith – “Believe in God always; believe also in me,” he told them.
While his disciples could never have imagined what they were about to experience, Jesus was well aware that he would be dead and buried before sunset the following day. The words he offered them this night were well planned with a certain calm urgency. “Let not your hearts be troubled,” Jesus told them. Surely Jesus knew that the only way his friends would be able to hold together, to continue the work of God without imploding with competing self-interest and personal despair was by being guided by two essentials – love and faith.
Those are still the essentials for surviving tough times and for extending the kingdom of God at all times. The foundation for building a Christ-honoring life is amazingly simple – faith and love. We do well to trust God and trust Christ Jesus with every situation in absolute conviction that God is bigger than any problem we may face. We also do well to allow our love for God and others to inform our actions and empower us to live with grace. When it comes to living in the likeness of Christ, we do well to hear how Christ’s words go from love to faith.
Lord Jesus, I believe in God and in you… help my unbelief. Amen.
A Bible study devotional by Gorman Houston