Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me.
I have to tell you I really like this verse, but to look at it alone somewhat confuses me. After all, when I read Do not let your hearts be troubled I have to ask is this a message for me or any reader or is it about something specific? Turns out I am not the only one and the problem is caused (somewhat) by the artificial division of God’s word into chapters. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad we have chapters and verses numbered, but sometimes the breaks just are not where they should be Ellicott’s Commentary notes
The division of chapters is unfortunate, as it breaks the close connection between these words and those which have gone immediately before. The prophecy of St. Peter’s denial had followed upon the indication of Judas as the traitor, and upon the announcement of the Lord’s departure. These thoughts may well have brought troubled hearts. The Lord had Himself been troubled as the darkness drew on (John 12:27; John 13:21), and He calms the anxious thoughts that He reads in the souls of the disciples.
So let’s turn back to chapter thirteen at the last supper and see more specifically what He is addressing in John 14:1 above. First we have this where He is speaking about Judas Iscariot.
I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
Then of His impending departure
My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
After hearing Peters declaration “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you” He replies thusly
Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
Then, after all of this, we come to Do not let your hearts be troubled and Believe in God, believe also in Me. Now we know why their hearts were troubled. The eleven disciples He spoke to had good reason to be troubled, but some of their uneasiness or anxiety was caused because they had yet to fully understand who He, Jesus, was. This is why He addressed their faith (or lack thereof) and said Believe in God, believe also in Me. He is telling them as directly as possible He is God as well, He and the Father are one. He wanted that knowledge to have the power to sooth their hearts and remove whatever was troubling them. Ellicott’s Commentary adds
This faith is the simplest article of the Christian’s creed. We teach children to say, we ourselves constantly say, “I believe in God the Father.” Did we but fully grasp the meaning of what we say, the troubles of our hearts would be hushed to silence; and our religion would be a real power over the whole life, and would be also, in a fulness in which it never has been, a real power over the life of the world.
So do we have troubles? And if we do, then do those troubles continually diminish as we focus on the fact Jesus, the Son, and the Father are one. And we know the Son as our Savior and as our Lord. Plus we have the blessing of Jesus living in us along with the Holy Spirit to guide us and comfort us if we will but turn to them. I know it is easy to say and difficult to put into practice – the first time, but the practice of doing so makes it easier to do so as life goes on.
It is our choice whether or not we give up our ties to whatever it might be keeping us from turning to Him and turning our hearts to Him no matter the circumstances.