The Secret to a Settled Heart

Gospel of John #39: an exposition of John 14:18-31. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 2, 2011.

Not that I’m cynical, jaded or soured on humanity but when someone says, “Trust me” everything in me screams, “Run away!”  Maybe it’s because those words seem to have preceded most disappointments in my life.  It has generally been my experience that if someone feels it is necessary to convince me they are trustworthy…they probably aren’t.  So I understand the skeptical.  I sympathize with those who struggle to believe.  That’s under good conditions.  That’s when things are going well.  What about when things are tough?  What about when all hell breaks loose?  What about when everything you’ve believed, everything you’ve dreamed of is taken from you?  And taken in a violent manner?

They thought he was going to usher in the kingdom of God.  By that they meant he would run out the hated Roman occupation army.  They meant that a golden age would begin.  A time of unprecedented prosperity when Israel would finally get the recognition it deserved.  How does his dying serve that end?  How does his “going away” fit into that scheme?  “Let not your heart be troubled?”  Is he kidding?  Before you shake your head at their lack of insight or their failure to see the obvious, have you ever questioned the wisdom or work of God?  Have you ever looked at the circumstance of your life and wondered if maybe you’ve believed a lie?  If you say, “No, I’ve never thought that.”  I have to ask you another question – do you lie about other things too?  The life of faith is a struggle.  Our Lord understood that.  As our Creator He knew we are frail children of dust who are victims of the Fall and its curse.  That’s why in love and grace He prepared His disciples for what was to come.  He instructed them.  He told them what was coming.  Yet He knew they wouldn’t understand.  He knew they would need another teacher to instruct and remind them.  In fact, He told them He would send a helper to do just that.  Our text this morning is found in John chapter 14 beginning with verse 18.

Text: John 14:18-31

We are in the upper room on the night of His betrayal.
Jesus is talking with the 11 remaining disciples about what is coming.
Judas has already left the group to meet up with his conspirators.
In verse 1 of chapter 14 our Lord sets the tone for this section.
“Let not your hearts be troubled.”
This chapter is taken up with the reasons and means for a settled heart.
He is going to prepare a place – 2
He is coming to take them to be with him – 3
He alone is the way, because he alone has the truth and he alone has the power of life – 6
He and the Father are one – 9-11

As we consider the last half of this chapter I want you to see that…

Thesis: A calm heart, in the face of utter turmoil, demands confident faith in the word of Christ and His gracious provision.

Let’s note three things.

The Lord Jesus promises abundant provision through His abiding presence.  (14:18-24)

The Lord Jesus assures us of an accurate and intimate knowledge of God by the work of the Holy Spirit.  (14:25-26)

The Lord Jesus guarantees us lasting, eternal peace as His gracious gift.  (14:27)


There is a way to the settled heart.  A heart at peace in spite of the storm.  A heart at rest though all hell breaks loose.  Such a heart demands confident faith in the word of Christ and His gracious provision.

Our Lord promises abundant provision through His abiding presence.
He assures us accurate and intimate knowledge of God through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
He guarantees lasting, eternal peace as His gracious gift.

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