“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
nor be troubled
“Troubled” means disturbed, agitated or ruffled, stir up, disturb, unsettle, throw into confusion, shake together, frightened, terrified. In this passage, it means not to allow ourselves to be intimidated, confounded, agitated, disturbed, disquieted. This is mental and spiritual agitation and confusion. People can trouble our minds; if we let them, we violate this command.
Secular Greek used this term for throwing an army into confusion and disorder. Thus, the army enters into anarchy and confusion. Are you in some sort of uproar because of acute emotional distress or turbulence? God does not want us to be in great mental distress – “Do not be distressed.’
God provides a way for us not to be upset by our enemies.
God does not want trouble to get us down. Do not let that situation you are facing get you down. Rise above it. Some ask, “How do you feel?” “I feel pretty good under the circumstances.” But we are not supposed to be under the circumstances. God expects us to be on top of the circumstances.
“Yes, but I’m defeated. I’m whipped. I do not know which way to turn. I cannot make head or tail of the mess I’m in.” What does it take to have a content mind? What would you give to have a content mind? Contentment frees us from greedily grasping for more — more money, more power, more prestige. That will kill a saint as well as a sinner.
Heb. 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He, Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When pressure hits at a point in time, this person becomes disturbed and upset. The opposite of this is to be relaxed. We are free. No one is free until they occupy themselves with Christ. No one can witness without fear until they understand the presence of Christ in their lives. A young man shows his girlfriend’s picture with pride. He does not tie himself up in knots talking about her. He is relaxed about it. He is proud of her. A Christian who loves his Lord tells of his grace with pride.
Our hearts automatically gravitate toward trouble. Because our hearts are trouble-prone, we have a world filled with disturbed people. It does not take much to disturb some of us. We hear people say, “I am upset.” This is the meaning of “troubled.” To be upset means to be upside down. Why do we become upset so quickly? What made us blow our top?
What troubles you just now? “It is not what you eat that kills you. It is what is eating you that kills you.” What is eating at you today? What is eating your heart out? What robs you of the peace that should be yours as a twice-born person?
Job 14:1, “Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.”
We gravitate to trouble. We have a knack for trouble. We stew about it and it looms larger and larger until we break under trouble.
Ps. 34:6, “This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.”
Ps. 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.”
Ps. 50:15, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
God not only saves us from sin but he saves us from trouble. Physicians listen to people narrate their troubles all day. If he took all that home with him each night he would burn out quickly. We have one who takes all our problems to himself (Ps. 55:22; Heb. 4:16; 1 Pet. 5:7).
Trouble comes in many packages. What kind of trouble do you face today? Why not put the situation in God’s hands? Have you had bad news today? Have you had hurtful news about your children? That kind of trouble comes in an ugly package. How do you handle your problems? Do you take those issues to yourself? Some of us never learn what to do with our problems. If we take our problems to ourselves it will make us old ahead of time. It will stoop our shoulders and break our hearts.
Ps. 112:7, “He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
God comforts us amid our trials (2 Cor. 1:3,4). God permits us to go through deep waters so that he can encourage us. We can then encourage other Christians in trouble. We then become fellow-workers with God. We can be a blessing to someone in crisis. Some of us have so many problems on our own that we do not want to get involved in other people’s concerns.