John 14:27 — “Don’t be Troubled or Afraid”

John 14:27 — “Don’t be Troubled or Afraid”

When the Bible says, “Don’t be troubled or afraid” we already know it refers to someone who was both troubled and afraid. John remembers hearing Jesus speak these words to him and the rest of the disciples. They were all more than a little “troubled” by His insistence that He would soon leave them.

Summer storm season causes many people in our area to feel troubled and fearful — and for just cause. Almost daily, warnings and reports of storm activity, severe hail, and even funnel clouds fill our weather feeds.

Recently, a group of us ladies were sharing our responses to extreme weather. A couple of us appreciate a good thunder-banger (the prairie term for thunderstorms) and the extra nitrogen it infuses into the soil. Some ladies thought we were foolishly disregarding danger. Wisely, they preferred the take cover approach. Storm chasers go a step further, seeking the thrill of tracking super cells for the perfect photo. These uncontrollable beasts of the air cause me to tremble in awe at the all-powerful God who holds everything in the palm of His hand.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27

I ponder these words, acknowledging the things that trouble my heart. Storms take many forms — unsaved loved ones, terminal illnesses, severed family relationships, and on the list goes.

What about you? What brings fear to your heart and mind?

Peace

We must remember the context of Jesus’ words. On the eve of His own cruel, undeserved death, and raging storm, He assures others. Hours before His arrest, trial, and execution, He gives those He loves a most precious gift — peace of mind and heart.

“The peace Christ leaves is power to hold the wildest fear in pause, to still a clamor or hush a cry — it is the coming of mercy to a sense of sin, of life to the fear of death.”
– Pulpit Commentary

We tend to more readily receive advice from those who have weathered similar circumstances and know the hazards we face. Jesus doesn’t just offer advice, He gives them (and us) exactly what they (and we) need to endure any and every trial — His perfect peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…”
John 14:27 

The perfect peace Jesus offers is unlike peace found anywhere else or in anything else. No one but Jesus can give us lasting peace. Through Him and in Him, we never need to be troubled or afraid.

A Choice

My mom was terrified of storms. She would pull the drapes, unplug appliances, and refuse to allow anyone to use the telephone or run water in the house. Much to her frustration, my dad followed behind her pulling the curtains open again, waiting with a full coffee mug to watch the pending light show.

We tend toward one extreme or another when it comes to storms — tremble in fear or settle in our secure position. Dad had built our farmhouse to withstand the force of prairie storms. He wasn’t foolish, but he rested under the safety of a solid roof and strong walls. He also knew when wisdom called for a concrete basement to create the safest haven.

The peace Jesus gives protects us — not from danger, but during it. With His peace, we can rest when fierce winds come against us.

“…So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27

Another version says, “Do not let.” The words imply a choice on our part. Such admonish would be utterly cruel if He had not first given us provision. Trouble and afraid can also be translated as “disturb, agitate, stir up, to shrink, be fearful, timid, or cowardly.”

I have battled my own fears in response to various storms — when death came knocking, when pain denied rest day and night, when money was scarce and bills were plentiful …

Fearless

During Jesus’ trial and execution, fear overcame His disciples, too. Later, they stood unwavering in their devotion to Him. What changed? How did they fearlessly face life-threatening storms?

The Holy Spirit made all the difference in their lives! The Book of Acts records an almost perpetual infilling of the Spirit.

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Acts 2:2-4

In Acts 4:31, they were filled again. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit came to others in Acts 8:14-17. Then again in Acts 10:44 and 19:5 we see the Holy Spirit coming on even more people. With the Spirit came a fearlessness.

The same holds true today. Jesus has not left us helpless, to be overwhelmed by fear. He has given His perfect peace to us as well. So, may we have confidence. May our hearts not be troubled or afraid no matter what storms come our way.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I bring to You each weary warrior. Before one storm subsides another looms on the horizon — each one threatening more devastation than the one before. May Your gift of peace be more than words on a page, bringing enduring strength and hope. May we find true rest and comfort in the perfect peace You provide. In the words of Psalm 112:7, may we not fear any bad news, but may our hearts be steadfast, trusting, confidently relying, and believing in You, our Lord and God. We place our confidence and hope in You alone. Fill us, again and again, with the fullness of Your abiding presence. Lord, hold us secure during the storms ahead — never troubled or afraid. Amen.

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2 thoughts on “John 14:27 — “Don’t be Troubled or Afraid”

  • June 30, 2024 at 6:45 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you very much this is what I needed

    Reply
    • July 2, 2024 at 9:51 am
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      Praise the Lord! I am humbled that He would use these simple words.

      Reply

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