Bible Reading: John 14:1-14
“Do not let your heart be troubled [afraid, cowardly]. Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me” [John 14:1 Amplified Bible]
The disciples were increasingly aware that Jesus was going to die and they were unsure of what the future might hold. They had left everything and totally committed themselves to follow Jesus and now He was going to leave them. They were confused, afraid of the future, afraid of being on their own and afraid of what might happen to them. These are not uncommon emotions when we experience major changes in our lives.
The disciples were questioning among themselves and asking where Jesus was going and how they could follow Him there. Because they did not know the way or how they could know the Father, Jesus sought to allay their fears, answer their questions, and to encourage and strengthen them.
The words “you believe in God” might be a statement, but because they follow the words, “Let not your hearts be troubled,” they were almost certainly a command. Literally, “You believe in God, believe also in Me!” Here is the primary key to overcoming fear – faith! The faith that Jesus was speaking about was a personal trust in God. It was literally to trust in Him, to lean upon Him and rely on Him. King David experienced fear and his testimony was:
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
and delivers them” [Psalm 34:4-7].
We all experience different kinds of fears. Unhealthy, irrational fear torments, and does not come from God. The answer to all fear is to trust God and let His love fill our lives. The apostle John wrote, “Perfect love casts out all fear” [1 John 4:18]. Writing to Timothy, Paul said, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power and a sound mind” [2 Timothy 1:7]. Faith is something that grows. Jesus likened it to a mustard seed [Matthew 17:20]. A mustard seed is very small but it grows into a large tree [Luke 13:19]. So it is with faith – the more we exercise faith, the stronger it grows. We can exercise a little faith and begin to overcome fear, until fear has totally been conquered!
Is there a fear that you have struggled with and never been able to conquer? Would you bring that to the Lord, and trust Him to set you free?
A man once said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe: help my unbelief” [Mark 9:24]. What does this tell you about faith? How did Jesus respond to him?
What do you think are the keys to having a faith that is growing and becoming stronger? What are you doing to become stronger in faith?