Because There Is Rest for Troubled Hearts

Rod Hutton August 1, 2021 John 14:1-31
Outline

6 reasons our hearts can rest when tempted to be troubled

I. Because Jesus Is Preparing Our Heavenly Home with Him (vv. 1-6)

A. Prepared and reserved for you (vv. 2-3)

B. Only accessed and assured through a saving relationship with Jesus (vv. 4-6)

John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

II. Because He Uses Us to Accomplish His Plan (vv. 7-14)

A. By doing “greater works” (v. 7-12)

B. By answering prayer that glorifies the Father (vv. 13-14)

III. Because He Has Given Us the Holy Spirit (vv. 16-20)

A. A helper for the rest of our lives (vv. 16-17)

B. A promise of unity that strengthens us (vv. 18-20)

IV. Because He Gives Us a Meaningful Purpose (vv. 15, 21-24)

A. To love Him

B. To obey Him

V. Because We Can Be Confident in His Word (vv. 25-26)

John 14:25 - These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

VI. Because He Grants Us His Peace (vv. 27-31)

A. Peace that He secured with God

B. Peace that He secured between us who believe

C. Peace that comes from knowing what comes next

Proposition: The disciples can have hope because they have a savior concerned about and providing the necessary resources to face the upcoming cross and the role they would have after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Good morning. Let me just start by thanking you all for continuing faithfully to join us each week as we continue our series on Enjoying Life in His Name and walking with Christ verse by verse through the gospel of John. If this is your first time with us, or if you are recently new to Faith North, you are here at a perfect time. You see, in the first 12 chapters of John, we covered three years of ministry, miracles and teaching. We have uncovered the truths about who Jesus is, so that we might believe. The whole purpose of this gospel writing was so that “you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may enjoy life in His name.”

At this point, John turned back on the speed dial as the final 9 chapters will show us the fulfillment of Jesus’ purpose in why the Father sent Him, but we are at a moment in time where the stress and the burden was heaviest for Jesus and for his disciples?

Has there ever been a time when your heart where the weight of the world felt like it was all upon your shoulders and you just did not know what to do?

  • In my 30 years in the Navy, I counseled many of my Sailors as their families walked through difficult days, but even in all of that I would not compare it to what I know is happening in some of our lives today.
  • Let me explain why, because I have had the opportunity to lend a listening ear to many from our community, to include some in this room, on days when their hearts were so troubled that they just did not know where to turn or what they could do next, sometimes it is centered on a family issue and broken relationships or a deep trial because a close loved one just found out that they have stage 4 cancer and they do not know how many days they will have together. Sometimes, the issues are a loss of work and a financial crisis where nothing seems to work to turn the tide. And sometimes it is centered on the deep hurt as they have watched someone close to them walking on a destructive path and they just don’t know what to do
  • As a Pastor – sometimes, I have to simply sit silently and listen because I don’t have the words, I don’t have the solution a quick fix to make everything better.
  • So here we sit with troubled hearts…

Been there? Has this been your story? Are you there right now?

That was the situation for Jesus as He considered what He knew was approaching in the coming hours and that was the condition of the disciples’ hearts as they finally began to understand what Jesus was saying telling them that He was going to be tortured and die and that they would no longer have their teacher.

Not only that, but they also learn that one of them would betray Jesus and Peter is told that He will deny Jesus. I can only imagine how their hearts would be troubled.

If left right there, I imagine it would be a silent room, no one would speak, then slowly, heads hanging low, they might have gotten up and walked out without a word, lost, not knowing what to do, trying to make sense of the last three years,

Thankfully, that is not where Jesus left them and it is not where Jesus leaves us where our hearts are troubled – I want to invite you to explore with me the words that provided comfort to the disciples and that can give you and I rest when our hearts are troubles.

Please join me in John chapter 14, I will ask you to read along in your bible, on your device. If you are using the bible in the chair in front of you, we are on page 84 in the back section of the Bible.

We are still in the upper room on the night of the Passover meal

  • The news of Jesus’s coming death is starting to sink in, top that with betrayal and denial within the chosen disciples.
  • The upper room was not like your favorite family gathering. The room would be filled with stress, fear, confusion and uncertainty.

Jesus had every reason to walk away and focus on addressing his own troubled heart which he would later do in the garden at Gethsemane, but not until after he chooses to provide comfort to the troubled hearts of those who he loved.

Please follow along as I read. This is the Word of the Lord. Read John 14:1-31.

Our annual theme is Enjoying Life in His Name. The theme is connected to John’s purpose: he wrote so that we might believe that the long-awaited Messiah is Jesus and that by believing we might have life in his name.

Today I want us to see how we can Enjoying Life in His Name because there is rest for troubled hearts.

From this passage, I would like us to consider Six reasons our hearts can rest when tempted to be troubled.

The wording is very important. It is not that we find rest when God takes our troubles away, we find rest when we are tempted to be troubled. Think of the passage…

  • In the upper room, Jesus does not cause the circumstances to change. Judas will still betray him. Jesus is still going to the cross. He will be buried in a tomb.
  • The disciples will experience loss and grief and confusion. Peter will still deny Jesus three times and they will all return to their old lives troubled in their hearts for a period of time.
  • The circumstances causing the trouble do not always disappear. But we can choose…will we view the world through a lens focused on me, Or will I use a lens that helps me focus on Christ.
  • Just as it was true for the disciples so it is true for us. It is so easy to shrink our world to the size of our trouble --- it becomes all that we see.

Today I want us to see the hope that surrounds our troubles

First, there is rest for troubled hearts …

I. Because Jesus is preparing our heavenly home with him (vv. 1-6)

For Jesus, I can’t imagine how He could have looked past the coming hours, but He knows that God’s greater purpose is that He would glorify the Father and the Father will glorify Him through the cross and because he can see the eternal purpose, he is able to minister to the disciples, knowing that they would be troubled in their hearts.

Therefore with an eye on a promised eternal blessing, He comforts them and provides rest for their hearts because they see their own future.

  • Jesus will be restored to his heavenly home with the Father full of glory for accomplishing all that the Father gave him.
  • Jesus’ disciples can in turn see that they will be granted a heavenly home with Jesus.

Prepared and reserved for you (vv. 2-3)

Let’s talk reservations briefly, back in May when we were planning a trip to Glacier National Park, I had everything lined up. We were excited. then I saw that times did not line up for our rental car so I needed to adjust the reservation which meant cancelling and rebooking. SO I cancelled the reservation just as the website asked me to and in the sixty seconds that I took to make the new request – No car available, in fact as I tried every option I could think of, there was no car in all of western Montana. My reservation was NOT gurarnteed. I may finish that story later, our passage today doesn’t talk about cars - It’s about rooms

The Bible tells us a time when room reservations were tough to find –

  • think about Joseph and Mary arriving in Bethlehem, his wife in labor, his heart troubled over how he would care for his wife and Joseph is told, “There is no room at the Inn.” This did not change for Jesus later in life either…
  • 33 years later the Jews told him there is no room for you in Israel, so they killed him.
  • Today, the world is telling Jesus there no room for you, and we reject him.

But Jesus still responds – I love you and I am making a place for you and not just any place, a home in Heaven for all of God’s children where no one is left behind, no homelessness, no evictions and no rent.

When Christ takes us Home, He is not just promising us room availability, but best room in the mansion which He has bought and paid for with his blood.

Verses 2-3 remind us that Jesus is going to prepare a place for his children and your reservation is guaranteed for those who know the way.

Only accessed and assured through a saving relationship with Jesus (vv. 4-6)

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Remember, John wrote to convince, persuade, even command people to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that by believing you may have life in his name.

  • That is why he said you must be born again, you must drink the living water, you must be spiritually raised to new life, you must eat the living bread, etc., etc.
  • You don’t get to choose between Travelocity, expedia or hotwire for a reservation. It is not that Jesus is one way, he is the only way.

Every week we talk about the need everyone has to repent of their sin and trust Christ as their personal Lord and savior … to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that there is life in his name. John 14:6 is as clear a verse as any.

  • Our guaranteed room reservation does not come with simple head knowledge acknowledging Jesus, but it is a complete and unqualified devotion to Jesus, the one who is the way, the truth, and the life.

Even if you have heard this 1,000 times, I am appealing to you, God is calling you to obey the gospel and place your faith in Christ. There is no decision that is more important than that one. We are here today to walk with you to help you see God’s invitation and what that means for you

For those who know Christ, you can hold onto this anchor in the storm that Jesus went to the Father, prepared a place for you, and will return to take you to him forever.

Why can your heart rest even in trouble? Because Jesus is preparing our heavenly home with him. A second reason is …

II. Because he uses us to accomplish his plan (vv. 7-14)

When our hearts are troubled, we often focus on the circumstances around us. The trouble consumes your time and effort. Feeling worthless, unproductive, or useless can be a potential by-product of trouble. We convince ourselves that God cannot do anything with us or for us. It is not long before discouragement or discontentment settles into the depths of our hearts.

But this is not how it has to be.

We can hold onto this promise that has practical applications when we trust that God has a purpose for our lives when he says we can do greater works than he did…

By doing “greater works” (v. 7-12)

This is a shocking statement.

  • Does he mean that you and I will be able to do more amazing things than Jesus did?
  • Water into wine, walk on water, raise a person from the dead.
  • That is not true…

How can we honestly understand “greater”?

I believe that Jesus emphasizes God’s plan for salvation history.

  • The Old Testament looked forward to a Messiah. They knew that the sacrificial system could not save them. They were waiting for a greater Savior.
  • Jesus’s works up to that point proved that He is the Messiah, but not as they expected. They wanted the national military conqueror.
  • Instead, he was the suffering servant who fulfilled the entire law making the once for all sacrifice.

Jesus describes the disciples work, our work in the shadow of the coming cross.

When His work was complete and Jesus returned to the Father, our work, powered by the Holy Spirit, fulfils a purpose of bringing many to salvation

Our works are greater, not because they are more flashy or amazing. They are greater because we minister in a time when the ministry of Jesus is clear!

It is possible for a person with a troubled heart to accomplish great things for the cause of Christ when we focus on Christ’s victory over our circumstances and when our testimony reveals the impact of his victory in our lives.

As always, Jesus provides us a way and shows us how He continues to help us even when he is gone.

By answering prayer that glorifies the Father (vv. 13-14)

At first this sounds like God will be our genie. All we must do is ask. But we know better. We know that there is an implicit condition that starts in our heart. Sometimes I pray for things for my glory. But Jesus promises to answer our prayers with a greater result than our glory, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, SO THAT the Father may be glorified.

Our God is too loving to give us the crumbs that we might ask for in our glory, rather He wants us to pray so that Jesus and the Father receive glory as he answers our prayer.

  • When Travelocity told me there were no cars available, I could pray for a car in Montana, but God’s purpose was something greater, my sanctification, He wanted my heart to change and trust him most.
  • I Would not have chosen the changes that had to be made, but it gave opportunity for God’s glory even in an instance where Kathy and I had the opportunity to minister to a young mother after a car accident. God’s glory, not mine.

So when we pray, Maybe that is the kind of prayer your troubled heart needs to pray. Lord, you know my heart … give me wisdom, strength, and courage to follow you so that you get the glory.

How does a troubled heart get rest? How can we enjoy life in Jesus’ name when our circumstances bring trouble to our soul? I have suggested that knowledge of our heavenly home and our continued usefulness form two reasons. The third one is hard for any of us to imagine. The gift of the Spirit.

III. Because he has given us the Holy Spirit (vv. 16-20)

When Jesus went to the Father, he sent the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. He is …

A helper for the rest of our lives (vv. 16-17)

When God saved me twenty years ago, I can’t look at that day and see this radical transformation from the selfish, self-absorbed man that I was to the picture of godliness that you see before you today, wait that’s a lie too, let’s restate that – to the picture of a less selfish, less self-absorbed man that continues to need the help of the Spirit.

  • For each of us, our experience with the indwelling of the Spirit may reveal itself differently, but it does not change the truth that Christ has sent us a helper, the Spirit of truth, so that we might grow in Christ and learn to love God with all of our heart, soul and strength. That even in our troubles, we are never alone, God will never leave us.
  • In the Psalms, King David prayed to God that He would never take His Spirit away from David as God had done with Saul,
  • But We can know we no longer need to pray in this way – In Christ’s work on our behalf, he has promised, see in verse 16 that the Spirit will be with us forever.

Yes, I may have trouble, but I also have the Spirit of God indwelling me and ministering to me and giving me strength for the cause of Christ.

A promise of unity that strengthens us (vv. 18-20)

Verse 18 says, “I will not leave you as orphans.” For the disciples, they would see him again in three days, for you and I it goes with the promises that the Father calls us children of God, we are not orphaned and alone.

Troubled hearts tend to isolate us. We convince ourselves that we are the only ones who suffer like this, no one understand us, and no one cares.

  • Jesus may not take away our trial, but he does not leave us alone and he will provide rest in it.

God fully intends to help you not only by reminding you of your future home in heaven …

You might be thinking, “Heaven is great and I am glad for it, but that does not take away the pain of today.”

  • That is true, but it is also true that heaven is not the only resource. You can rest because God is still using you, you can rest because he sent his Spirit so that you would never, ever, ever be alone.

I know what some of you might be saying, 3 points, we are done. If that’s you, great, let’s get to sermon number 2, but to prevent confusion, I won’t restart my numbering

So… reason #4 our troubled hearts can find rest.

IV. Because he gives us a meaningful purpose (vv. 15, 21-24)

In some ways the Christian life is really complicated and in other ways it is extremely simple. In John 14, we find two simple purposes.

In our day to day life, it doesn’t always seem so simple, so sometimes it helps to go back to the basics. The two purposes here are closely tied together.

To Love Him

To Obey Him

The Bible often links both ideas. They go together. But what does this have to do with rest for the troubled heart?

Well, when our heart is troubled, we are tempted to be mad at God

  • We believe that our faithfulness has been rewarded with heartache.
  • We believe that we deserve something far more and far better than what we have.

I have worked hard – I have a right to a high paying job

We poured into our children and brought then to church every week, we have a right to children who follow the Lord,

I am a good person and I have a right to good health

These thoughts intensify when we see a “less worthy” person receiving what we want. Particularly when we see what we want given to a person we know doesn’t love Jesus like we do.

It does not take long for discontentment to produce anger and anger to produce bitterness.

Thankfully, the Lord gave us a solution. He said that to faithfully follow him we need to love him and obey him. The Bible consistently reminds us that God wants all of us.

  • He wants us to love him with all our hearts – that our thoughts and desires are on Him alone
  • He wants us to obey him – that is the action side of life … the things that we do, that we choose His way, not our own.
  • But inherently bound up in these commands is the relational side of life … he wants to be near us and wants us to be near him.

Troubled hearts are often helped by focusing on very simple purposes. You do not have to solve everything. You do not have to fix every circumstance. The Lord was gracious to provide very simple instructions. Love him and obey him amid our trouble and He will give you rest.

When we do that, it helps us to see our trouble with a view of a bigger picture. Yes, it is there and it is real, but it is not the Whole of life.

  • There is still a heavenly future, there is still meaningful ministry, We still have the indwelling Holy Spirit and there is still a simple purpose.

Reason #5 we can rest …

V. Because we can be confident in his Word (vv. 25-26)

John 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

For the 11 disciples remaining in the upper room, In the coming days they would be under tremendous pressure. Without a book, how do you remember all that Jesus said? When John wrote his gospel some 50 years later, how would he remember everything? Jesus had sent a helper, the Holy Spirit and because He did, we now have his Word that we might witness the truth as well.

This passage is not about you and I getting direct revelation from God. It is about the confidence we have that when we read the Bible, we are reading the words of God.

  • Even more specifically, when we read the gospels and we see all the red letters (the stuff Jesus said) we can be confident that it is accurate.

In many ways John 14:25-26 serves as a foundation for a much more common verse.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

I might not be able to change all the circumstances causing the trouble, but I can open my Bible and fill my heart and mind with the truth of God’s Word.

Finally, … we can rest even during trouble …

VI. Because he grants us his peace (vv. 27-31)

We want peace. We want it in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and country. Yet, peace is hard to come by. It always has been.

And that is just a peace defined by the absence of war.

Jesus offers us a different kind of peace – his peace.

And though I do not have time to unpack it all, here are a couple simple aspects of that peace.

Peace that he secured with God

We can have peace with God because Jesus took the wrath of God for us and his sacrifice was sufficient to ensure that wrath would never need to return on us. There is no other way to enjoy that peace other than through Christ.

.

Peace that he secured between us who believe

Those who know Christ have also been reconciled together. We may struggle working it out, but it is there. As brothers and sisters in Christ we share the greatest bond – a relationship with Jesus, which brings us peace.

Peace that comes from knowing what comes next

This passage ends (as does the entire Bible) by giving us a picture of what is still to come. The disciples were told in advance and so were we.

It allows us to know that the chaos of the moment is just that, it is in the moment.

In that moment in the upper room, Jesus knew the troubles that were coming for him and for his disciples, but instead of seeking his own rest – Jesus gave rest to the troubled hearts that

  • we might know that He is making a place for us that we can be with him always,
  • that he sends us with a purpose to do great works sharing his gift of salvation,
  • that we will forever have the Spirit as our helper
  • that our purpose is simple to love and obey him
  • that we have all that we need in his word to answer the questions of our troubled hearts
  • and that we can walk in peace even in midst of most chaotic storms

and in each of those promises, we can rest.

IF there is no other application from today’s message that you would walk out the door with, I want you to know that when your heart is troubled, when the trials and the circumstances are still right in front of you - God’s word, and specifically John 14 shares the truths that can give our hearts rest.

Pray

  • Confess that we often have troubled hearts
  • Thank you for the future reminder that you are preparing a place for us so that we can be with you.
  • Thank you that you use us to accomplish your plan even when our heart struggles with our circumstances.
  • Thank you for the promised indwelling Spirit who is ours forever. Thank you for the ministry of the Spirit in our lives.
  • Thank you for that we can rest knowing that you gave us a simple yet meaningful purpose so that loving you and obeying you could cut the noise that our trouble creates.
  • Thank you for your Word that we can hide in our hearts that we might not sin against you.
  • Thank you for your peace. Peace that we have with you and with others because Jesus died on the cross and made that peace possible.

Authors

Rod Hutton

Roles

Northend Community Center Director - Northend Ministries

Bio

B. Mathematics – University of Minnesota
M.A. – National Security Affairs – Naval Post Graduate School
M. Div – Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Rod Hutton and his wife Kathy have been married for 30 years. They have five children, Chris, Tim , Malia, Grace and Josie. The Huttons came to Lafayette on assignment with the Navy to Purdue University which afforded the opportunity to attend Faith Bible Seminary. In 2018, Rod retired from Naval Service and joined the staff to lead the efforts in opening and operating the Northend Community Center and in 2019 he was ordained as a pastor with Faith Church.