by J.C. Ryle
“Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God–believe also in Me!” John 14:1
This verse is rich in precious truth. For eighteen centuries it has been peculiarly dear to Christ’s believing servants in every part of the world. Many are the sick rooms which it has lightened! Many are the dying hearts which it has cheered!
We have in this passage, a precious remedy against an old disease. That disease is trouble of heart. That remedy is faith.
Heart-trouble is the commonest thing in the world! No rank, or class, or condition is exempt from it. No bars, or bolts, or locks can keep it out. Partly from inward causes–and partly from outward causes; partly from the body–and partly from the mind; partly from what we love–and partly from what we fear–the journey of life is full of trouble! Between grace and glory–even the best of Christians have many bitter cups to drink. Even the holiest saints find the world to be a valley of tears!
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows!” John 16:33
Faith in the Lord Jesus is the only sure medicine for troubled hearts! To believe more thoroughly, to trust more entirely, to rest more unreservedly, to lay hold more firmly, to lean back more completely–this is the prescription which our Master urges on the attention of all His disciples.
Never let us forget that there are degrees in faith, and that there is a wide difference between weak and strong believers. The weakest faith is enough to give a man a saving interest in Christ, and ought not to be despised–but it will not give a man such inward comfort as a strong faith. Vagueness and dimness of perception are the defect of weak believers. They do not see clearly what they believe and why they believe. In such cases more faith is the one thing needed. Like Peter on the water, they need to look more steadily at Jesus–and less at the waves and wind.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You! Isaiah 26:3
by J.C. Ryle