“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”. John 14:27
I saw an old newspaper headline from 2012 that caught my attention this morning :
“People in the UK waste £250m per year on store gift cards they do not use, according to industry figures. Annual sales of the cards are worth more than £4bn. About half are given as personal gifts, the rest by business.”
That really amazed me. If those were the figures in 2012 I wonder what they are today.
I can’t imagine being given the gift of a card to use in one of my favourite shops and then not bothering to use it. It would be tantamount to leaving a present unopened!
But do you know what? We do that very thing every day with a precious gift that Jesus has given us. The gift of peace.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
In our modern world, so many are living life stressed and worried. We worry about terrorism, the direction in which our culture is drifting, our finances, our businesses, our marriages, our children and our personal health. Stress itself is a medical condition and causes anxiety and depression. Is it really possible to live in the midst of all of this stress-inducing ‘stuff’ and feel peaceful on the inside?
Jesus’ everyday life was filled with the potential for stress. He was beleaguered by His enemies, who followed Him around, challenging everything He did and said. Then there was the constant crowd, clamouring for His attention, healing, some words of hope. He often had no place to lay His head, He was frequently physically tired and, ultimately He was brutally beaten and crucified.
In spite of all these, reading through the gospels we find no occasion where Jesus snaps at anyone, and then uses the excuse “I’m sorry, I’m just stressed, as I’ve done on more than one occasion!
Jesus dealt with each and every person he came into contact with as if they were the only one. How did He do it?
Because His peace on the inside was not determined by what was happening around Him.
It’s this same peace that He has given us. It’s Jesus’ gift to you.
You can be free from anxiety concerning the past, present, and future….
Peace is Jesus’ Gift to You
Like any gift, you have to “unwrap” it and start using it. There’s no use in just knowing about it.
If your nearest and dearest gave you a gift, and you left it, gift-wrapped and unopened for years, there would still be no doubt that the gift was yours – it was given to you. However you would not be using it to it’s full potential.
Jesus has given us the precious gift of peace.
“Unwrap” His gift to you today, and allow His peace to wash over your heart and soul no matter what is going on externally.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7