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HELP FOR THE TROUBLED HEART
Intro: Rejections, defeats, and failures that all of us have experienced can create enough negative feelings to destroy us. It is here that we must be very careful! Often the most painful wounds are not the scars that are outwardly seen, but the hidden wounds deep in the heart. Being hidden, they are often the most dangerous.
Setbacks in our lives, struggles in the journey, trials that fall across the way, can take the joy out of living. Our faith is weakened, and if we collect enough hurts it will stop us from wanting to press forward. Even success can make one the target of criticism. Do not let the hurts hurt you!
Look at Job. A man of the land of Uz, blameless, upright, one who feared God, and one who turned away from evil. Job had seven sons and three daughters, a beautiful family. He was considered "the greatest of all the men of the east." He lost it all in the twinkling of an eye. He lost his health, wealth, and family. He hurt. His wife hurt. His friends hurt. He was knocked down but not out. He had lost some of the passionate power to grow and some of his enthusiasm had diminished, but he checked his negative thinking and that of his wife and friends and stated, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:", Job 13:15! How could he after undergoing so much hurt?
Along the shoreline in California it is a common sight to see whales stopping alongside rocks as they migrate from Alaska to Mexico to scrape off barnacles. In our lifetime we also will pick up a collection of personal barnacles that will attach themselves like parasites sapping the life out of us. They must be scraped off.
How did Job do it? The same way we can do it--through faith. Faith is the only thing that can heal the hurts. Job scraped the barnacles off. It was painful! The scars would remain but his life was put back together. Strong belief in God was the medicine. His wife and his friends could not do it--only God could! Job said, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.”, Job 42:2.
This passage stands as a great rock in the Scriptures! If you have accumulated some barnacles along the way that are sapping your spiritual life, stealing your joy and causing you pain, this passage, if believed and received, is able to scrape them all way and restore your joy and peace once again. If your heart is troubled by something or the other, there is help here for you today.
I. V. 1 THERE ARE FEARS TO ESCAPE
A. Ill. The Context. To understand what precipitated these words, we have to go back to chapter 13. Jesus and His disciples have just finished observing the Passover. They enjoy a pleasant meal. After which, Jesus donned a towel and washed his disciples’ feet. After these things Jesus drops a major bombshell on his disciples. He tells them that he will be betrayed by one of their own number vs 21-30. He also tells them that he is going to be going away, Vs 31- 33. They learn the horrific news that their leader Peter will also deny him vs 36-38. The Savior’s words must have broken their hearts, shattered their confidence, and left them devastated. That is why we have the precious words of Chapter 14.
B. We need to remember this when the tough times come our way: trials and tribulations are slated for all of God’s children. John 16:33 tells us that we “shall” have tribulation. Job 14:1 and 5:7 remind us that trials are part and parcel of the human existence. In fact, many people are called upon to face their worst nightmares in this life. The simple truth is this: hard times will come!
C. However, in the midst of our difficulties, we can have peace! The Word “Let” is a call for you and I to be involved in the troublesome times of life. We’re not called upon to sit idly by while our lives are destroyed before our very eyes. We do have recourse in the time of trouble! (Phil. 4:6-7; Matt. 11:28; 1 Pet. 5:7; Psa. 55:22; 2 Tim. 1:7)(Ill. The best plan of escape from our fears is to run to the safe arms of Jesus. You are never safer than when you’re in his arms.) Go with fear and worry ruin your life! Instead, bring your fears to Jesus and he will give you peace in place of fear.
II. V.1 THERE IS A FAITH TO EMBRACE
A. The word believe is a life altering word! The Word believe means “to think to be true, to be persuaded off, to have confidence in.” Literally, the word means “to exercise faith in someone or something.” This verse speaks of two kinds of beliefs or faith.
B. There Is Sustaining Faith - “Ye believe in God” - This is the kind of faith that will bring you through the valleys! This kind of faith believes that God exists and that He is in absolute control of all things - Heb. 11:6! When it comes to God, we can have faith:
1. His Promises - Rom. 4:21; Rom. 8:28
2. His Power - Luke 1:38; Eph. 3:20; Job 42:2; Ex. 3:14; Isa. 40:12!
3. His Plans - Psa. 37:23; Jer. 29:11
If you can ever learn to trust God completely, without reservation, then you have the very tool you need to loosen fear’s grip on your life! As soon as you come to the place where you know God will do as He has promised and you leave life up to Him and His will, then you are free! Friends, you can trust the Lord!
C. There Is Saving Faith - “Believe also in Me” - It isn’t enough just to believe that there is a God. After all, the devils also believe that and they aren’t saved, James 2:19. To be a saved, a person must believe the Gospel message, 1 Cor. 15:3-4. The Gospel is a simple message! It is a message about the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, don’t stop by merely believing that these were actual historic events! Embrace them by faith and be saved by the grace of God, John 14:6. To illustrate the simplicity of the Gospel, one need only hear a few verses from the New Testament: John 3:16; John 6:47; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9-10; Rom. 10:13. Embrace Jesus Christ by faith and rest your future in His capable hands!
III. V. 2-3 THERE IS A FUTURE TO ENVISION
A. It Includes A Precious Place - “In My Father’s house are many mansions” - We need to remember that we are not home yet! While the troubles and trials we face are part of this earthly existence, they will not follow us where we are headed! Praise God, the burdens of life are temporary at best, 1 Pet. 1:6. My friends, we are just “pilgrims and strangers” passing through enemy territory this evening! I guarantee you, it will be far better when we get home! After all, the best is yet to come, Phil. 1:21-23. If you are saved, there is a place for you in the Father’s house and one day you will be going home, 2 Cor. 5:1-8.
B. It Includes A Prepared Place - “I go to prepare a place for you” - Ill. This world and all its wonders. It was made by the hand of the Lord in just 6 days. Oh, how glorious and wonderful Heaven must be! After all, he’s had over 2,000 years to work on it! It will be far greater than our feeble, human minds can comprehend, Rev. 21-22. But, when I think of Heaven, I like two verses best of all: 1. Rev. 21:4 and 2. John 14:3. (Note: By the way, Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people! Are you prepared for that place?)
C. It Includes A Powerful Promise - “I will come again” - Everyday you and I live with one of the greatest promises the world has ever known as our support. We have our Savior’s promise that He will personally return to receive His people unto Himself one day, v. 3; 1 Thes. 4:16-17. In fact, He wanted His people to know He meant this thing, so He restated His intentions in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Rev. 22:20.
Conc: I would like to conclude these remarks this morning by asking you a few simple questions:
1. What are you afraid of today? If you will come to Him, the Lord can and will replace your fear with His precious peace!
2. What are you trusting in to take you to Heaven? Everybody believes in something! Have you ever trusted Jesus as your personal Savior? If not, you can be saved if you will come to Him by faith.
3. Are you able to get your eyes above your trials, and see the gates of home? If the burdens of life have gotten you down, I invite you to come before the Lord and let Him help you cast your gaze higher than this earth.
There is help and hope in Him! Regardless of what you need today, you will find your answer in Him.