Why are you troubled? Luke 24:38

‘He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?’ Luke 24:38 (NIV)


There’s a wide divide between saying we believe something and showing we believe it by our actions. In Luke 24, we are able to listen in on the events which took place after Jesus was crucified. Imagine for a minute what it would have been like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ – to walk with him, watch him heal the sick, listen to his exhortations day after day. We know at least Peter grasped the amazing fact that he was friends with the promised Messiah:

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Luke 9:20

There was a major problem though. The disciples figured that Jesus had come to earth to save them from the domination and abuse they experienced at the hand of the Romans. They were limited by a physical understanding of Jesus. They had no real concept of the spiritual significance of Jesus’ life. What they expected and what really happened were two very different things. Imagine their horror and confusion as they witnessed their Messiah, their Saviour and Deliverer, hanging on a cross between two criminals and dying.

Now what were they supposed to believe? What about all their hopes and dreams? Where was God?

Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. As we know, three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead. In Luke 24 he makes an appearance to the disciples as they are gathered, perhaps hiding out while they try to sort out their beliefs from their reality. This is the context of the question in Luke 24:38.

Jesus asks them why they are TROUBLED and why they have DOUBTS.

Here are the definitions of trouble from Dictionary.com:

1. to disturb the mental calm and contentment of; worry; distress; agitate.
2. to put to inconvenience, exertion, pains, or the like: May I trouble you to shut the door?
3. to cause bodily pain, discomfort, or disorder to; afflict: to be troubled by arthritis.
4. to annoy, vex, or bother: Don’t trouble her with petty complaints now.
5. to disturb, agitate, or stir up so as to make turbid, as water or wine: A heavy gale troubled the ocean waters.
The disciples were probably experiencing everything described in these definitions – worry, distress, agitation, pain, discomfort, afflictions, annoyance, vexation. They probably felt like they were truly in the middle of “a heavy gale” as far as their faith.
It’s one thing to be troubled. It’s another thing to allow doubts to fuel everything. According to Dictionary.com, doubts are:
5. a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something.
7. a state of affairs such as to occasion uncertainty.
8. Obsolete . fear; dread.
Think about it, everything the disciples had put their lives and energy into for the past three years was wiped away when Jesus died on the cross.
Perhaps you are experiencing similar worry and doubts in your life. Sometimes life makes us worry and doubt our faith in God. If God truly cares, why is He allowing ______ in my life?
I took the picture above at the NAME Marriage Conference which my husband and I were able to attend last week. I went to the conference burdened. God allowed our family to go through a very difficult time this past year, a time which could have blown our family apart. I was still hanging on to worry and doubt, confusion and a lack of forgiveness. During the conference, Jack Winnicky challenged us to write down anything that was holding us back and then “nail it to the cross”. How freeing it was to write all my worries and doubts down; the thoughts that were weighing me down and interfering with my life. Jesus dealt with our guilt, our sin, and our shame on the cross. They are gone! But sometimes we hang on to them. Jesus wants us to let them go.
Today, Jesus is asking us, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” We can be free, but it’s a choice.
Today I’m choosing freedom. Are you?


  1. Marilyn on October 31, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Ruth thanks for sharing “Why are you troubled” I like the idea where you said to write your doubts and fears down. Doing this makes them visible and easier to see what you are allowing to hold you back. Then nail them to the cross, love that. Letting them go is the key as you said the weight is lifted and we can move forward. Prayers as you move forward with Christ .
    Marilyn ( OBS Group Leader)

    • Ruth L. Snyder on October 31, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Thanks, Marilyn, for your continued encouragement and support. I was surprised what a difference it made for me to go through the actions of writing and then nailing my paper to the cross. We can do it in our minds, but somehow it is more meaningful when we physically do it.

  2. Suzanne Rowan on October 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Beautiful, thank you Ruth. Reading this has inspired me to make a cross at home, for my husband and I to nail our “troubles and doubts” to.
    God bless you and your family

    • Ruth L. Snyder on October 31, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Suzanne, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. May God grant you and your husband freedom as you choose to release your troubles and doubts to him.

      • Suzanne Rowan on November 1, 2013 at 9:37 am

        thank you

  3. Valerie on October 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    THAT’S GOOD!! We have to remind ourselves that freedom is a choice and the first step is allowing Jesus to set us free and for us to walk that out day by day and choice by choice. 🙂

    • Ruth L. Snyder on October 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks, Valerie. You’re right, it’s a daily choice. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

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