Luke has just finished writing about the parables of the Lord, where he has pressed the point that genuine faith is evident faith (v1-21). If there is no fruit on the branch then there is no faith in the root. Faith that begins is faith that preserves – “faith without works is dead” (Js. 2:20). A person that is saved can never be lost but it is equally true that a person who is saved will overcome; “for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 Jn. 5:4).
“In every pew sits a broken heart.” If the title of the book co-authored by Billy Graham’s daughter Ruth is true, then surely in every pew there must be multiple troubled hearts. Circumstances tend to send our minds swirling as we ponder the hypothetical outcomes of our present dilemmas. We have all been there: distracted in our seats by events that are affecting our lives, tuning in and out of reality. For the disciples in the upper room, bewilderment was agitating what should have been a peaceful Passover meal. However, the Master of the gathering was near to assure them that their heart didn’t need to be troubled if they would just have faith. We will examine this cause and cure that the Lord presents to the troubled heart.
The patience of Job has become an idiom reserved for those with exceptional fortitude and self-restraint. As I read Job’s story, I’m not sure what he deserves more credit for; the way in which he persevered under the direct attack of Satan, or the manner in which he tolerated his four unhelpful, uncharitable and self-righteous friends. ‘Miserable sympathisers you are,’ was about as rude as he got.