May 22 Do not be distressed. Believe in Christ.

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed~|. You believe in God; believe~~ also in me.”

This was to be the last time Jesus would share a meal with his disciples, but they did not know it. In fact, they were wondering if Jesus would announce His glorious intentions as Messiah. He said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him” (John 13:31).

This must have excited the disciples, who did not realize that His glorification meant His crucifixion, not His coronation. “Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer” (13:33).

Surely they thought, “What did He mean? We are just ready to get started.” Peter said, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake” (Jn 13:37). Jesus said, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me [‘disowned me’] three times” (13:38). Can you imagine the shock and disillusionment?

Earlier in this same evening Jesus had told them that one of them would betray Him (13:21–-25). Was Jesus now saying that Peter was a traitor? How this must have hurt! They were all bewildered and discouraged.

Nothing ever works out quite the way we want. When Jesus spoke of glorifying the Father, He referred to a cross (Jn 12:23–-25) and dying to personal gain by giving his life for the benefit of others. Spiritual fruit often is the result of an inconspicuous, sacrificial investment in others with no personal benefit.

During this emotional evening (Jn 13–-17), Jesus announced that He was going to the Father to prepare a special place for them. He told his disciples that Satan was at work in their minds (Luke 22:31–-32) and that they would all abandon Him (Matt 26:31). After three brief years, these young men must carry on alone.

Jesus said, “Cease from letting your hearts be distressed,” implying that every believer is personally responsible for the condition of his heart. “Let your heart keep my commands” (Prov 3:1); “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (4:23).

Wrong thinking—-that is, selfish thoughts and delusions of grandeur—-leads to disillusionment. The solution? “Continually be believing [trusting] in me.” Rest in His purpose in all circumstances of your life. Stay faithful to His purpose no matter what.

“Lord, help me learn good thinking habits in order to be ready for the upsets that will inevitably come. Help me believe in You instead of giving in to worries or complaints.”

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