Today’s Scripture: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14: 27

While in Israel, I decided I wanted to stay with a local friend. One beautiful, sunny day, I went for a walk and noticed that both sides of the road were lined with lush orange trees, each one full of ripe, tantalizing oranges. I know in Chicago there would be no fruit left on those trees! I thought, “I bet there’s a law against picking these amazing oranges, but, if they fall to the ground, maybe that’s another story.”

I picked one up, peeled it, and took a bite. It was the worst thing I’ve ever tasted! I told the host family what happened and after they stopped laughing, they explained that those were genetically altered oranges, grown for aesthetics only. How crazy!

The disciples knew what it was like to expect things to turn out sweet but instead end up tasting a bitter reality. When Jesus came, they thought their troubles were finally over – the Romans, the taxes, the oppression, everything! However, we see in John 14 that they found that their Jesus was not only going to leave them, but would also be betrayed. What must they have felt like in the upper room as Jesus spent His final hours with them? The disciples must have been thinking, “Wait a second! Jesus can’t leave! God doesn’t die! This is crazy!” Their hearts must have been in turmoil.

Maybe your heart is in turmoil over your health, a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s or your adult son or daughter who is making bad choices. There are so many things that can trouble our heart. So, how can we cope? Our recovery begins with believing in Jesus for our salvation. Then, we must trust in the promises He has given us in His Word. Today, I encourage you to read John 14 and consider the disciples. Over the next few days, we will look at three promises that will help us calm our hearts when life gets crazy.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.