Thursday, October 4, 2012

Peace During the Storms

Chuckle:  "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again!"
Good Quote:  “Drop Thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess The beauty of Thy peace. --John Greenleaf Whittier
    "I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid"  (John 14:27 NLT).
Is there anxiety, worry, stress, or fear of the unknown in your life?  When you go to bed at night, do you lie awake fretting and stewing about things over which you have little or no control?  If you answered "yes" to these questions, you have joined a club with a multitude of members.  Many depend upon tranquilizers and other mind-altering medications to relieve their anxieties and give them a sense of peace.  For those of us who are Christians, there is a wonderful non-chemical solution for our lack of peace -- the gift that Jesus wants you to receive.
In our passage, Jesus was about to leave the disciples and be crucified.  But He did not want to leave them without presenting them a special gift -- His peace.  This gift is real and can be possessed by every believer.  The world may wish you peace, but it cannot give it as Jesus can.  This peace is a confident assurance that God is control in every situation.  With this peace, we have no need to fear anything in the present or in the future. Christ's peace ". . . which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds" (Philippians 4:7b NIV).
The peace that Jesus gives is not troubled by storms in our lives; and neither is it intimidated by challenges we must face.  We need not be afraid, but we do need to be faithful in our walk with our Lord. You may ask:  "How do I get from the head knowledge that Jesus grants me peace to a heart that actually experiences this peace?"  His presence within us (Holy Spirit) is the source of peace that only Christ Jesus can give. 
The promise of His peace is connected to the promise of the Holy Spirit to indwell us.  Love, joy, and peace are among the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).  We must depend upon the promise from our Lord and accept this gift in faith and gratitude while turning all our worries, fears, and anxieties over to Him.  I'm reminded of the line from an old hymn: "Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there."
Love, Jerry & Dotse