Peace in the midst of our storms

With everything going on in the world today once only has to listen to a few minutes of any newscast and they will find fear entering their hearts. Truly, if we aren’t careful over that which we watch and listen to, fear will get a grip on us. Allow me to share some of the words of life with you so that you can be settled in your heart that God knows right where you are and you can receive all the peace you want for our day and age.

Jesus was talking to His disciples just before He went to the cross and had this to say in the midst of the storm that He was about to encounter: Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled]” John 14:27. Remember this was spoken right before the waves of crucifixion – payment for our sins – was upon Him personally. None of us has ever died for the sins of another like Jesus did. That was a storm no one on earth has ever gone through except Him. So in light of that, what He is saying to us today is, to receive His peace. It’s not peace that comes because everything is going well, which is how the world defines peace. It’s a peace that comes from knowing our Father in heaven has our back, front and sides right in the middle of our storms!

The first two verses of John 14 say, “Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you.” We of all people, believers, know where we’re going and just knowing that, should give us a measure of peace that those that don’t know Him cannot achieve. In fact we could never “achieve” it because it’s a gift from Him.

Jesus spoke a lot about how the world would be before He returned. I won’t go into all those details except to say that Jesus knew and foretold that things would indeed get worse before He returned. What we are seeing today confirms the truth He spoke about to His disciples. You can read much of what Jesus had to say about this in Matthew 24 and beyond. But knowing what was coming after Jesus rose from the dead and went back to the Father, He said,

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you] John 16:33. Jesus said, “Fear not” many times over when He walked among us! If we soak ourselves with what’s going on in this world, we cannot complain if anxiety fill us. Here is God’s ways to deal with the fears of the world from Hebrews 12:2, 3: “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.”

That joy is us! He endured hell so that we would enjoy heaven and His presence forever! Of course He knows what’s going on in our world and how it has touched so many lives personally. But this world isn’t all there is. There is eternity with Him waiting for us. Let us receive all He has for us now – His peace, His love, His faith, His healing, His promises…”For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God” 2 Corinthians 1:20. Be strengthened, be uplifted, take courage in your heart that He has gone before us and knows all the stresses of our lives today. May our storms draw us to Him and not away from Him because “What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]” Romans 8:31

When fear enters your heart, turn to His word and turn off the distractions of this world. The result will be that His peace will rule over fear! Amen

 

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