When our hearts are troubled, Jesus commands us to actively practice our faith. We remember and pray things like, “I believe in God, my Heavenly Father. And I believe in Jesus Christ his only son who died for me. I believe God loves me and is in control of everything that happens in my life. He is good. He is powerful. He is perfect in his wisdom. I’m safe in him. Nothing can happen to me unless he allows it. Even the hardest things in my life he promises to work for my good.” And in so doing, we call our troubled hearts back to belief in God.
One of the most shocking discoveries many people make early on in their Christian journey is that Christians have not been given special immunity from the hardships, troubles, and difficulties of life. In fact, in many cases, these hard parts of life may increase as result of our faith in Christ. These experiences can be tough, and, if not understood in light of God’s Word, can even seem to choke our faith in God.
Jesus knew that this was what life would look like for his disciples and for those who would believe in him through their evangelistic efforts. He knew that he was calling them to leave the lives they had known behind and to take this good news to the ends of the earth. And he knew that this would be a hard mission and that they would inevitably get into trouble.
But our Savior did not leave them or us without wonderful gifts meant to sustain us through our darkest days. In John 13–16, we find Jesus celebrating the Passover with his disciples in the upper room. Within 24 hours, he would be arrested, tried, tortured, and murdered on a Roman cross. John makes it clear that Jesus knew the type of death he would die and that he knew “his hour had come” (John 13:1).
So, how does Jesus spend his last night we these men?
I believe he gave them what they would remember as one of his most beloved teachings. He said things that not only must have resounded in their memories the rest of their days, but also would be meditated on by countless Christians in every generation since. There is so much to understand and study in this passage, but I’d like to point out three truths that Christ reiterates with these men. They are his parting gifts in a sense, and I believe they are especially helpful during our own times of crisis.
The Gift of Faith
In John 14:1, Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” The moment that the disciples and Jesus himself were experiencing was tragic. If ever there was a time to fear the future, they were in middle of it.