Dr. Randy Carlson
How in this world do we experience peace? We are in a time right now in our nation where we need some peace, as we face the coronavirus pandemic. It has put the world into panic and has shut down much of the world.
When Donna and I flew back from London recently, we were on a 787, a huge airplane that seats over 300, but there were only 75 of us on the plane. There was no one even around us, and walking through Heathrow Airport, you could put a bowling ball down the aisle and miss people, because of the fear that is associated with the virus is something you cannot see.
Stress is at an all-time high, and in the United States, we are one of the most stressed nations on the planet because in many ways, we get more information than a lot of people in the world. We are bombarded with news, and it can overwhelm us. During this time, it is important to embrace peace and understand God’s Word is not silent when it comes to peace. There are many Scriptures that speak to us about peace and quiet our hearts.
We are all facing different challenges. The coronavirus may not be your biggest concern. Instead, something in your family, a challenge going on with your health or a personal issue that you are facing is distracting you and disrupting your peace in Christ.
In John 14, Jesus announces to His closest friends, His disciples, that He’s leaving. No doubt they had some difficulty wrapping their minds around that. And then Jesus encourages them with the words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).
Think about the amazing time they are living in. They are living together, working together and there’s probably a lot of excitement. They have no reason to think Jesus’ ministry wouldn’t continue on earth for a long time. And then Jesus says, “Hey! I’m leaving!” Talk about losing your peace.
In this chapter, Jesus is trying to comfort and to give perspective to His disciples about this change about to happen in their lives. Change is always a time when peace can be destroyed or damaged in our lives. Jesus is trying to help alleviate hijacked emotions by leaving them with His peace.
Jesus also differentiates between the peace He provides and what the world offers. The world tends to give peace around circumstances such as medication, entertainment, exercise or other things. The disruption in our nation today is huge, but the peace from God goes way beyond the circumstances we are facing today.
Jesus goes on to say, “Let not your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid.” Jesus’ words to His disciples are also for us today. You have within your ability, if you trust me, to deal with a lack of peace in your life.
- It is a decision you have to make.
- It’s within your control to rest in His peace.
- I’m leaving my peace with you, but you have to choose to pick it up and put it into your life.
You can do that when you understand God’s love is intentional. Choose today to accept and experience His peace.
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