Don’t Miss This Peace
Are you ready to celebrate? It’s the time of year we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So much more than a new outfit, colorfully decorated eggs, or a scrumptious dinner, Easter is a time to reflect on the sacrifice our Savior made for each one of us. It was the ultimate sacrifice that made peace between sinful man and a Holy God.
Have you accepted His sacrifice? Savor His love for you as you read today’s post. I’ve included an excerpt from my Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, to hone in on the very real peace only Christ can give.
Christ’s peace is what Easter is all about. And that’s something worth celebrating!
When the Going Gets Tough
When things don’t go the way you expect them to, do you experience anxiety or peace? For the child of God, peace is available.
Today we’ll look at the kind of peace that goes beyond an absence of conflict – a very real peace the Lord intended for each one of us to enjoy.
A Life Lesson
The call was unexpected. My husband answered the phone. I don’t remember what he said, but from his response I could tell something was terribly wrong. He passed me the phone, concern etched on his face. Before my Mom spoke, I knew my Dad had passed away. Her words confirmed my fear. He had suffered with severe rheumatoid arthritis and heart problems for years. We were supposed to make the trip up to Michigan to celebrate Christmas together. Instead, we’d be travelling up for his funeral.
I had attended many funerals. And it always amazed me that people who had experienced devastating loss could continue to function in spite of their grief. The most vivid example was the mother who lost one teenage daughter in a horrific car accident, while her other daughter was sped to the hospital with serious injuries. Days later, she wrote about the wonderful celebration service they had for her oldest daughter who was now in heaven.
Throughout her youngest daughter’s slow journey to recovery, this mother journaled about the experience and refused to be filled with anxiety. In a matter of seconds her world was turned upside down. Things would never be the same for her family. I’m sure she went through periods of intense sadness and wondered why this tragedy happened – yet the peace of God was evident in the written updates she shared.
Now as I hung up the phone, following my Mom’s call, it was my turn to experience the peace of God. I could sense the Lord’s presence as the Holy Spirit reminded me of Bible verses I had memorized years before:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.Isaiah 26:3-4
In spite of heartache and loss the Lord's peace gave me hope.
Would there be difficult days ahead? Absolutely. But moment by moment, as I gave my worries and concerns to the Lord, He was true to His Word:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
As I surrendered my anxiety and care to the Lord, He provided exactly what I needed: His peace.
A Word from God’s Word
They had spent three and a half years with Him. They had heard Him preach. Listened to Him explain parables. And had witnessed miracles performed by His hands. Yet in spite of all this, the disciples still had much to learn of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Some of the disciples expected Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom. He had a large following, and they had been there when He’d turned five loaves of bread and two small fish into enough food to feed a crowd of more than five thousand people. Surely Jesus was able to overthrow the Roman government of the day.
His words had been plain:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.Matthew 10:34
That must mean Jesus was preparing a takeover. But recently, He’d been talking about going away. It didn’t make sense.
After the morning discussion, Judas (not Judas Iscariot) had been bold enough to ask the question that was on all of their minds. Why wouldn’t Jesus announce to the world that He was the Messiah? (John 14:22) They listened intently to Jesus’ response.
He explained that not everyone could understand His message. But soon the Holy Spirit would be sent to help the disciples remember what Jesus had said. The disciples would be entrusted with sharing the gospel with the world.
He continued speaking, clarifying His mission:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. John 14:27-28
The peace He mentioned sounded unlike any peace the disciples were familiar with. Even though they still didn’t understand completely – each of the disciples was faced with a decision. Would they trust Christ and the words He spoke, or would they continue to try to fit Christ into a mold of their making?
The disciples’ decisions were evident following Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Although they struggled with doubts they chose to trust Christ and were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4). They became bold witnesses sharing the gospel with Jews and Gentiles alike. And in spite of persecution, they experienced the peace of God.
A Time to Reflect
Do you usually equate peace with an absence of conflict?
How does the Lord want you to respond to what He showed you today?
Can I pray for you?
Heavenly Father, thank you for your peace that passes understanding. I can experience your peace in spite of my circumstances because of the presence of your Holy Spirit. Help the fruit of peace to grow in my life today. In Jesus' name, Amen.Leave a comment on my wall if this post helped you
Peace is another one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Next week, Licensed Independent Social Worker, and Christian Counselor, Amy Menter will continue to share from God’s Word on this vital topic. If you’re interested in studying the fruit of the Spirit in greater detail, I’ve written a 10-week Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful, you can pick up here. Free weekly videos accompany each lesson. Here’s a link to the video for week 3: A Different Kind of Peace
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