Of all ministerial duties, there is none as sacred or as vital as the care and comfort necessary for those facing death, separation and bereavement. Over the years, a constant word of comfort has proved helpful from the lengthy dialogue offered by Jesus in the upper room and found in the 14th chapter of John in a passage known by scholars as the “farewell discourse.”
Here, Jesus instructs his followers—concerned about news of his pending death—to “not let [their] hearts be troubled.” It echoes another passage about our heart from the Synoptics, when Jesus says, “Wherever your treasure is, there will be your heart also” (Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34).
Both passages are important guides for us during troubled times. Like the wise counsel of proper diet and exercise for maintaining a healthier physical heart, Jesus suggests we can also manage our heart’s emotional health. Notice: The heart is a follower. It goes wherever we first place our treasure. And secondly, the content of our focused treasure goes a long way toward the condition of our true heart’s condition.
If our heart is primarily focused on earthly treasure, we are to be pitied, for everything on earth is passing away. Our possessions, our money, our credit ratings and even our most prized relationships will one day fade away. We can enjoy all these wonderful gifts, but they are not to become the objects of our worship.
So, Jesus follows up in the latter part of John 14:1, “believe in God, believe also in me.” Our heart’s greatest hope is when it is focused upon a transcendent source of infinite possibility, when our treasure is invested in seeking to understand and follow nothing short of the will of God. Only then is there enough supply to meet the demands of our anxious hearts.
There is not enough money to solve all the world’s problems, but there is enough God. There is not enough time to accomplish all we hope in life, but there is enough God. There are not enough resources to guarantee we will never experience the loss of key relationships, but there is enough God.
In fact, by definition, there is enough God and God’s grace experienced in Jesus Christ to match any pit, forgive any sin, meet any challenge and conquer any threat. That is our hope and that is the gospel, good news to a world always reckless and crazy with bad news.
In God’s great scope of faith in us—even when we have exhausted all the faith we had in ourselves—there is enough of what we need. Not always what we want, but what we truly need. This is the treasure that eludes the rich and welcomes the poor. It is the source of persistent hope and renewed confidence when the situation looks bleak. It is the only consolation when we look at our hearts and say, “Enough with your trouble, because there is always enough of God.”
Mark Johnson is senior minister at Central Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky.
Mark Johnson is senior pastor of Central Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.