Battling Unbelief: Despondency Pt.4 Daily Devotion

Scripture: Psalms 73:21-26

Now the amazing thing about this is that the word used here that he was troubled is also used of the disciples. However Jesus says to the disciples, “Don’t be troubled.” John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Or John 14:27, “My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you, not as the world gives to you. “Let not your hearts be troubled.” When I read that yesterday I said to myself, “Now wait a minute. I got to figure this out here. I’m saying the sinless Son of God can be troubled—same word—and yet he tells the disciples don’t be troubled.” It’s as though Satan drops this bomb, the same bomb, right in the experience of Jesus and the disciples.

They were about to be despondent because Jesus was going away and it looked to them like it was back to fishing. There’s no Kingdom here. This is a pointless thing. Nothing good has happened and now our best friend and, we thought, Lord is gone. And Jesus says, “No, don’t be troubled,” and yet he was troubled.

Is this a contradiction? Is it okay for Jesus to be troubled and not okay for the disciples to be troubled? I don’t think there’s a contradiction. Here’s how I would put the two together.

On the part of the disciples Jesus is saying, “When the bomb drops in your life and Satan colors the shock wave of this experience with black hopelessness, don’t yield. Believe.” In other words, he’s telling them, “Counter attack, let not your hearts be troubled, attack, believe in God, believe also in me.” He’s not saying that this first shock wave that can knock you over or pull the plug out of your life won’t be there. He’s saying, “Counter attack, believe, take my peace, listen to what I’ve said, look at the word of God. I will show you the path of life.”

Now with regard to Jesus, no one knew better than the Son of God that if he didn’t immediately counter attack the shock wave of Satan’s satanic temptation he’d be done for. And so in closing I want us to look very carefully at how Jesus responded to his troubled soul and the satanic attack on his peace with God.

John Piper

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