Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

MansionAmerica is a very troubled nation tonight. Do you feel it? Do you see it? A recent poll stated that Americans are more unhappy now than at any time in the last 50 years. But that fact shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Our wonderful nation is adrift in a sea of relativism, lawlessness, deception and chaos. Most of our leaders seem to be clueless on what to do and the few that try to stand up for anything are torn apart by the culture and our media. We are being led away from the Lord, our Constitutional moorings and being pushed toward culturally driven paganism that is growing by the day. Not exactly a formula to inspire hope and happiness in anyone. But perhaps the greatest problem that is most troubling to Americans is that they don't see this future path getting better...only worse. How about you?

A lot of time could be spent in this article on all the issues that have brought us here, but that would take a long time and it is complex. However, you might say it all comes down to the simple and powerful fact that America has corporately chosen to leave the Lord out of our national life. As a result, how could the results we are facing be surprising to anyone, especially Christians? It seems that America has been planting a lot of bad seeds of unbelief and rebellion over the last 50 years or so and they have finally sprouted and have grown into a jungle. Our nation is reaping what it has sowed because God is not mocked by our behavior as Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:6-8,
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Sadly, much of America, and even the professing Church, do not believe what the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians. Such obvious things should never surprise us, but somehow, they do. Sin has a cost to it that must be paid sooner or later by someone. A good example of this principle at work is watching our exploding national debt. Our national debt is truly out of control and is threatening our future, yet it is rarely discussed in a serious way. People live and act as if it didn't exist. It is usually just ignored for political reasons. But reality has an ugly way of showing up when we least expect it with devastating consequences. That is exactly what is unfolding in our nation with the current unfolding riots, unrest and political division that is really depressing people. But as reality starts to show up, very few will repent or make the needed changes in seeking the Lord and His ways to change things. The few voices out there in the church and society that are issuing such warnings are no more listened to and followed than the Old Testament prophets, culminating in the coming our Lord Jesus Himself.

So, what is really going on? What do we do about it? More importantly, what does the Lord want us to do? Are there any clear Biblical answers to the chaos engulfing our nation and world at the present time? Now, if you carefully study the Bible, particularly the history of Israel as a guide or template of how such things unfold, we seem to be coming to some sort of end of America as we know it. Surely such things are not unique to us because they happened to Israel, so we must let Israel be our teacher in these times as we get ready for what is about to unfold for our nation.

When the Lord Jesus came to Israel during His public ministry, our Lord hardly received a warm welcome. Our Lord started His ministry in Nazareth where He opened the scroll of Isaiah in Luke 4:16-21 and announcement it was fulfilled in His coming. Sadly, this announcement led His hometown family and friends to try and kill Him by throwing Him over a nearby cliff in verse 29. This reaction at Nazareth set the tone for the course of our Lord's ministry that He was going to be "despised and rejected" as Isaiah 53:3 had prophesied. All of this rejection ultimately culminated in the cross and our Lord's glorious resurrection.

Our Lord knew from the beginning of His ministry that the majority of the nation would not accept Him. As a result, our Lord did not come to "turn the nation around" and/or start a "revival" that would save them. Those days were long gone. The nation and religious establishment had become so thoroughly corrupt that nothing was going to stop the decline underway. The nation was not going to repent or change as a whole, so our Lord gathered the few disciples around Him to totally start it over again.  Attempts at reformation gave way to the need for recreation. Sadly, the nation had become so corrupt that they were heading toward destruction during the Jewish Wars with the Romans that came in 66-73 A.D. Our Lord even predicted this very thing as He was heading to the cross in Luke 19:41-44,
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
But what is often missed by Christians is that just before our Lord was finally crucified, He promised them a glorious future that is still the SAME promise for every believer today. Just as our Lord was about to go the cross and leave the disciples in the midst of a hostile world He settled their hearts about their future with these amazing words in John 14:1-3 where we hear,
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Our Lord told the disciples that their hearts should not be troubled. Surely such trouble was all around them and yet in the middle of it the Lord promised that He would return for them and take them to His Father's house. Israel was not going to change in their lifetime, but our Lord's people were not destined for the Jewish Wars that would come later to those that had rejected Him. Our Lord's people had a blessed hope and future that was designed to settle their hearts as life unfolded. This wonderful promise from our Lord in John 14 is the foundation of what every Christian should be thinking about in the midst of our current chaos. The Lord has a wonderful plan for our future, a Blessed Hope that is NOT rooted and grounded in something in this present life.

All of this comes down to some simple, but sobering thoughts about where we are right now amidst the prophetic history that is rapidly unfolding before us. America's current trajectory is taking us right back to very same story that happened during our Lord's ministry. Like Israel, America is not getting ready to change, repent or turn back to the Lord any more than the people did when our Lord came to Israel and He was rejected and crucified. Instead, this present resentment and persecution of Christians is growing by the day to a place where the Church is no longer really tolerated or even welcomed in public discourse.  This has led many Christians to just hide in their churches and hope that all of this will go away.....but it will not!

As Christians who love our nation, we should continue to pray for America, vote, speak up and do the things that we can do to be a wonderful witness for our Lord as His salt and light (Matthew 5:13). But the time is rapidly approaching, and now is here, when the Lord's people must begin to realize that we are not going to stop the forces of darkness that are being unleashed on the world at this time. Those forces are committed to driving every last vestige of goodness and godliness from our society and replacing them with an ungodly agenda. This evil agenda wants to overturn the Lord's claim on this world and replace it with their control of things to fulfill the lie from the Garden that says.... "you shall be as gods".

As this troubling chaos continues to unfold by the day, every Christian needs to memorize and be comforted by John 14:1-3. Those wonderful words from our Lord are His way of getting us ready for what is ahead. Our Lord wants us to look up...not down. Our Lord wants us to not be surprised by what is unfolding before our eyes. That is the Lord's desire for us as we face these dramatic days. Wonderfully, John 14:1-3 seamlessly leads us to I Thessalonians 4:13-18 as its ultimate fulfilment in our day where we hear the Apostle Paul tell the Church,
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
America has been an incredible place to live. None of us could ever thank the Lord enough for its blessings in our lives, but it is not our ultimate home. As our Lord wept over Israel at the end of His ministry, so too we weep over what is happening to America. Our spirits grieve as we see our wonderful nation being taken over with ungodly agendas that can only bring its downfall sooner or later, just like Israel fell as a nation after its rejection of our Lord. Tragically, both nations chose to go their own way and reject the Lord, His love and Gospel. But as these powers of darkness continue to grow and come against our great nation, we need to remember our future home, so that our hearts will not be troubled. May we be comforted and encouraged by that glorious future home the Lord Jesus Christ is preparing for us in His Father's House. Our future home is waiting for us amidst all these storms. Our Lord told us that the porch light would be on when we get there because He is the light of the world. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in his day, let us encourage one another in our day with these same words of life and hope in the Lord that can never be taken away.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!