Faith cures a troubled heart

Faith cures a troubled heart

An excerpt from “You’re Gonna Make It: Unlocking Resilience When Life Is a Mess.”

I was in college when my mom was sick with cancer. As the disease progressed, there were many nights when she would struggle to sleep, and most nights when I was home, I’d try to stay up with her. She’d ask me to read the Bible to her, and John 14 was one of her favorite sections. I didn’t know the Lord at that time, but I read it so much that eventually I memorized most of that chapter. I didn’t know it then, but those words from Jesus would stick deep inside me, and I’d return to them time and time again whenever uncertainty or pain would weigh me down.

So listen to what Jesus was saying to my mom (and me) and what he’s saying now to you:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:1-6, NKJV).

Faith is what cures a troubled heart. That’s so beautiful that I want to say it again: Faith cures a troubled heart.

Is your heart troubled right now? We have so many reasons to be troubled. Each of us has our own fears and doubts. As I like to say, all God’s children got issues. So it’s no surprise when we look at what’s going on in the world and we’re like, “Ugh, how is this all going to work out? Or is it?”
To which Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Why? What gives Jesus the authority to say that?

Check out what He says next: “You believe in God, believe also in Me.” This is why I say that faith cures a troubled heart. Jesus is not asking us to carry the confusion and the disappointment. He is telling us that he came to earth for a reason—that he lived a perfect life and died on the cross and was raised from the dead for a reason.

God absolutely loves it when we trust in Jesus. Here’s what the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 11, verses 1 and 6:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. . . .

But without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Our generation is so used to walking by sight, not by faith.

The problem is that walking by sight undercuts our ability to unlock resilience. Why is that a problem? Because we have to be resilient to experience something that we cannot see. Resilience is born by a vision of what can be but is not yet.

God wants us to walk by faith, by trusting in Jesus. That is why we’re exploring the unstoppable life, a life fueled by hope and grit, because even right now I believe Jesus is saying to all of us, to our whole country and the whole world, something like, “Listen, your hearts are troubled. But don’t be troubled. You believe in God, so believe in me.”

The only true way to believe in God the Father is to believe in God the Son. And God the Son—Jesus—says that by knowing him, we will know his Father. That’s why it’s so important for us to exercise the faith God has already given us. And like a muscle, our faith will get stronger the more we exercise it.

Lord, You know my heart is troubled right now, but I believe in You. I know You’ve got this. That’s how we exercise our faith.

Jesus, help me. I don’t have anyone else to turn to. That’s how we grow our faith.

You are invited

The book of Hebrews tells us that we can’t please God unless we have faith.

That sounds scary, maybe even unfair. Like, what if we’re in a place where we don’t have a lot of faith? Does that mean that the super-holy people with tons of faith will please God the most and the rest of us will be able to please him only a tiny bit or even not at all?

But that isn’t how it works. Faith is a gift God gives us (see Eph. 2:8–9). We don’t have to manufacture it ourselves. We don’t get faith if we are smart enough or work hard enough or attend church seven Sundays in a row. God has given us the gift of faith, and we can choose to use that gift in ways that please him. It doesn’t matter whether our faith is the size of a tiny little mustard seed or a huge vat of mustard from Costco—either way, we can still exercise our faith to please God.

I appreciate how the apostle Paul puts it: God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty (1 Cor. 1:27 NKJV). Feeling weak or foolish? Full of doubts and worries? God can work with that. He will work with that! What he is asking us to do is take the step—to walk in faith, every day, and watch what he does in our lives.

And walking by faith is the essence of the grit we’ve been talking about.

Grit shows itself through our simple, faithful steps. We keep walking forward with Jesus, we keep moving in the direction he has shown us, because we trust that everything will work out if we just keep going.

One way I can always tell that I’m not exercising my faith enough is when my insides are turbulent and uncertain. That’s when any little bit of negativity—some bad news, a stressful situation, whatever—will start me fretting and worrying and overanalyzing. Freaking out inside, basically.

My bride, Lynn, is the best when I’m like that. “Daniel,” she’ll remind me, “God’s not negative.”

She’s so right. Jesus died for us so we can have a life better than we ever dreamed (see John 10:10). God doesn’t love us and grow us by pumping fear and worry into our hearts; He loves us by inviting us to use the faith in our hearts. And, remember, that faith is God’s gift to us. For me, it’s like I sense him saying, “Daniel, you’re freaking out here, but I’m not freaked out. I’ve seen this already. I know what I’m going to do in this situation. So, Daniel, you don’t have to be troubled here, but you do need to remember to trust me.”

I believe that every moment of our lives is an invitation from God to trust him. Seriously, every moment! How cool is that? It’s always the right time to see that God is not just a good Father but a good, good Father. God isn’t just sort of good; He’s amazingly good! And those moments when our hearts are troubled are the times when we learn to walk by faith and not by sight—when we experience that faith cures a troubled heart.

So the key for each of us is to accept Jesus’s invitation in our times of struggle and fear. We must learn to identify the negativity as an opportunity to draw closer to him. And we must keep on taking those steps of faith, even as we continue to grapple with our own doubts.

Excerpted from “You’re Gonna Make It: Unlocking Resilience When Life Is a Mess.” Copyright © 2022 by Daniel Fusco. Published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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Daniel Fusco

Daniel Fusco is the author of “You’re Gonna Make It: Unlocking Resilience When Life Is a Mess” and “Crazy Happy.” He’s also a church planter and lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, Washington. His radio program, Jesus Is Real Radio, is broadcast across the country, and his TV show, Real with Daniel Fusco, airs across the globe. He also hosts the You’re Gonna Make It Podcast. He and his wife have three children and reside in southwest Washington.