In my life, the examples where this has been the case have been numerous. One example I can give you is from a couple of years ago when I decided to build a wooden deck for my cottage, which is north of Kingston, Ontario.
I had participated in deck-building in the past and understood, for the most part, what was required. What I doubted, however, was that I could adequately build the deck on my own. This deck needed to be safe for children and it needed to meet the decorative expectations of wife. To this end, I resolved to get help. I enlisted the help of a friend, an engineer, who was experienced in building stable foundations and had helped me build decks in the past.
Before engaging in any part of the work, I made sure that my friend was nearby to keep me from making any critical errors. I could not have built this deck properly if I had been left alone. And my confidence in doing the work was entirely bound up in the accompanying presence of my friend.
I share this illustration with you because in the text before us this morning, Jesus is addressing the anxiety His disciples were feeling as they anticipated carrying on the ministry without the accompanying presence of Jesus. The opening words of this chapter mark Jesus’ desire to encourage them, “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).
From this statement we learn at least two things. First of all, we learn that followers of Jesus are not immune from having troubled hearts. Our tendency, if we lack someone alongside us, is to fret. If no one is looking out for our well-being, our temptation is to be fearful.
The second thing we learn from Jesus in this verse is that the antidote for our troubled hearts is bound up in our relationship to Jesus Christ. While we concede that anxiety may befall a Christian, I submit to you that anxiety need not master the Christian. Anxiety need not be the constant companion of the Christian. “Let not your hearts be troubled” Jesus says, “believe in God, believe also in Me.”