Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 19 - Peace

John 16:16-33

This week, I am looking at the fruit of peace. Since today is the first day I am looking at peace, I thought about what peace means. Often times, when Jesus commanded peace, it was when his disciples were gripped with anxiety. I think one way to look at peace is to have a feeling of calm even though everything around you is anything but calm. I want to look at how we can tap into that kind of peace for part of this week. Another type of peace is a relational peace. When we have peace with others, generally we are getting along or at least have a truce. Sometimes, I think people believe the peaceful person is meek and even weak; however, Jesus was strong yet peaceful. In fact, to maintain peace at times when no one else is peaceful can take a lot of strength.

I want to look at how we can have personal peace when there are a lot of reasons to experience anxiety. Having experienced both peace and anxiety, I can say with all certainty that nothing good is accomplished with anxiety but when we are at peace we can think through a problem with a clear mind and problem solve effectively. Several physical ailments are either brought on by anxiety or aggravated by anxiety; some of those ailments can be life threatening. There are studies that have proven the need for calm to experience a reduction of physical pain or a speedy recovery. We have evidence that we need peace to be healthy! How do we get there?

Please look up John 16:16-33. This will seem familiar because we looked at this same section of scripture when studying joy. Jesus is explaining that we can go to the Father through Jesus’ name and bring our petitions to Him. In verse 33, Jesus tells us, “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What powerful words! Jesus told us that we have an access to the Father that we have never had before and that we can bring Him our requests. Jesus also reminded us that He has overcome the world and nothing here is more powerful than He. No matter how terrible things seem, Jesus is bigger!

David understood this reality when his son Absalom tried to overthrow his reign. Please read Psalm 3; David wrote this Psalm when he was fleeing for his life and escaping the sword of Absalom. David knew that God was his deliverance and he trusted that God would be with him no matter what was happening. Please look at verse 5, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.” When I am full of anxiety, sleep is one of the first things that suffers. Nighttime is a time that I can worry without interruption, yet David had a peace that allowed him to sleep. The fact that he knew he could turn to God and trust God gave him peace. He knew that God was bigger than all his enemies. Our trust in God and remembering that He is in control can give us a peace amongst all the problems this world brings.

Do you trust God? Do you have a peace knowing that He is in control and has overcome this world?

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