“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
Sorrow is that dark feeling of distress that comes after experiencing loss or tragedy. Such an experience can be consuming and cumbersome. As the people of God, our hearts ought to be filled with a genuine sense of compassion and care for our troubled brother or sister. We ought to love them (Rom. 12:10), cry with them (Rom. 12:15) and pray for them (James 5:13). In this post, it is my desire to provide encouragement to the troubled person by pointing them to the provisions found exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is important to note that trouble does come in the lives of God’s people (Job 14:1). However, when trouble overwhelms the heart of the child of God, what are they to do? In John 14:1-4 we will note the cure to trouble. J. C. Ryle calls this passage “a precious remedy against an old disease”. The disease is trouble and the remedy is faith. Our Lord spoke these words,
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
The disciples were troubled because one of them was going to betray Him (John 13:22) and Christ was going to depart from them (John 13:33). Our Lord provides an answer to their troubled souls and by extension the cure to all troubled souls.
Rest in Christ’s Person
The Lord Jesus simply said to His troubled disciples, “Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). They are to put their trust and rest in Jesus Christ. He is “the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God” (1 Tim. 1:17), He is the One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). He is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Troubled soul, find your rest in Him. He is aware of your situation (Heb. 4:15) and only He can provide you with the comfort you need. Remember who He is and what He has done. Remember what His word says concerning who He is and rest in His person.
Rest in Christ’s Preparation
He goes on to add, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Our Lord is preparing a place in His Father’s house for His people. What a thought! This is a reminder that what we are experiencing now is not forever. Our eternal home is in Heaven with our Lord. This eternal home is for all in Christ, and it is a place of communion with God, changed conditions and converted citizens (Rev. 21:3-8). Child of God, Christ has made room for you there. Rest in His preparations!
Rest in Christ’s Promise
The final remedy in this passage is Christ’s promise. He promised, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Christ Himself assures His people that this is true. He has prepared a place and He will come back for His people. Take refuge in this promise and long for His return.
The Lord Jesus Christ loves His people and He cares for them. He purchased His people by His own blood (Acts 20:28) and has provided them with complete forgiveness according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7). He said to His disciples and He says it to you too, “Let not your hearts be troubled“. The cure for our troubles is not found in a series of rules and regulations or even in the expectations of others. It is exclusively found by resting in Christ. For this reason troubled soul, “consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Heb. 12:3). Let us be sensitive to the troubles and struggles of our suffering brothers and sisters by praying that they would find their rest and refuge in Christ.
Dedicated to Jonathan and Fiona Kusilek. Today marks one year since the death of their precious daughter Olivia (29/05/2012).