Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

The following 'Funeral Sermon' is posted with family permission.  May the Lord give to the family of Vernie Rued, and all who mourn, comfort in their grief and a sure confidence in the Lord's loving care.  

Text: John 14:1-7

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Finding the right emotion for a funeral is often very difficult.  For example, when we first hear the news of a family member, friend, or colleague’s death we do not immediately cheer for joy but become troubled.  Our heart becomes disturbed, twisted, and bent out of shape with the news of death.  We become troubled because death takes the life of a loved one away from us.

This trouble, though, is often offset when we find out that death has put an end to ongoing suffering. It hurts that a loved one is gone but the fact that there is no more suffering helps ease the pain of our troubled hearts.  But this leads to another problem; if death puts an end to trouble and suffering, what does that say about you and me right now? In other words, if death puts an end to trouble, doesn’t that mean that you and I are either in trouble right now or have trouble prowling around off in the distant future waiting to strike us?


Dear friends, it seems that there is no escaping a troubled heart, especially at funerals. We are troubled by the loss of Vernie, only to be comforted that she is no longer troubled in this life by suffering, but then we become troubled again when we realize that we are trapped here in this life of trouble. 

Jesus was right, wasn’t He? He said,

“In this world, you will have trouble.” 

As you already know, many people have tried to get rid of their troubled hearts but to no gain.  You see, the more that we try to get rid of this feeling of trouble or hide it, the more we fail, and the more we fail, the more troubled we become.  To make things worse, death seems to be waiting for us at the end of our troubles.  Death waits and only adds trouble upon our current troubles by laughing at us.

So here we sit at today’s funeral, searching for the right emotion.  And no matter what we do or think, every emotion that we arrive at is either surpassed or undercut by trouble.

But dear friends, stop a moment and consider where you are at.  You are here in a church – in Christ’s Church.  You are not here to listen to the laughter of death.  You are not here to sit under the thick dark veil of trouble.  You are not hear to listen to emotions.  No, you are here in this funeral service and in this church to hear what the Lord has to say to you and your troubled hearts.  You are here because Jesus meets your troubled hearts with promises from His Word. 

You, who have ears, hear!  Listen to what the Lord says in His Word to you and me,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” 


“Do not let your hearts be troubled!” 

But why are we called not to let our hearts be troubled?  How shall we have assurance and comfort, right here and right now?      

The answer is quite simple, yet profound.  You and I are called not to be troubled because Jesus is the way out of this veil of death.  Indeed, we are not to let our hearts be troubled for Jesus gives us in place of our troubled hearts, hearts filled with assurance. 

It is like this dear friends; Jesus as our Savior, gave Himself into death on the cross for you, me, and Vernie.  Jesus had no sins of His own, but in His love for you, me, and Vernie, He took all of our sins upon His shoulders and carried them to Mt. Calvary where He received our punishment and the wages of our sin.  And on the third day, He rose again.  The grave is empty.      

Bluntly stated, Jesus went ahead of Vernie into the grave and opened a gaping hole in the belly of death.  The grave could not hold on to our Lord Jesus because He is Life itself.  And because Jesus rose from the clutches of the tomb, we too – with Vernie - will rise from our graves to serve and worship Him for all eternity in His kingdom which has no end.

And so, this day, dear friends, do not be troubled.  If Jesus is the Way, Vernie is not lost in a maze or a pathless desert of sin.  If Jesus is the Way, there is a way through life and death to eternal life for you. Do not be troubled this day!   

Yes, do not be troubled.  If Jesus is the Truth, Vernie is not lost in error or abandoned to hopeless ideas that lead to deception.  If Jesus is the Truth, what He speaks to you from His Word is truth.  Do not be troubled this day![1]

Truly, do not be troubled.  If Jesus is Life, then Vernie is not lost in a world of shadows, dying, and death.  If Jesus is Life you are not left in a world of graves and tombstones but have the promised hope of the resurrection of the body.  Christ is coming back to take you, me, and Vernie unto Himself, so that where He is, we may be also. Do not be troubled this day![2]

And so, because Jesus is the way out of this veil of death – because He is life over death – He speaks truth to us giving us in place of a troubled heart a confident heart.  He grants us faith this day – faith that replaces trouble with hope, fear with confidence, and uncertainty with certainty. Indeed, Jesus meets Vernie’s death and our troubled hearts with His life and His assuring promises this day. 

So, dear friend, do not be troubled this day.  Be assured; Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He is your Way, your Truth, and your Life.  He will come again to take us unto Himself with resurrected new bodies, so that where He is, we may be also. 

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.


1] R.C.H. Lenski (The Eisenach Gospel Selections, 1910)
2] Ibid. 

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