“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Do you need peace today?
In today’s world it can be hard to find, and maintain peace. Every time you lift a newspaper or turn on the tv, the news headlines range from negative to downright scary.
Bombs, murders, pedophiles, sexual predators, terrorism, political mayhem and more. And even if the ‘big stuff’ doesn’t seem to be happening where you are, there are the confusing, conflicting reports that are a bit closer to home, such as our health and what might effect it. It seems one day they’re telling you, ‘eat plenty of this – it will stave off cancer’, and the next day, ‘don’t eat that, (very same thing) it will give you cancer’. It can make you feel kind of edgy, if you’re trying to be health conscious, can’t it?
And then on top of all that, there’s your own ‘stuff’ to deal with. Sometimes it’s like juggling!
It would be easy to get caught up in it all and start to feel rattled. A little spark of fear, if not snuffed out immediately, can quickly become a big flame and then a wildfire.
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you’.
Peace is Jesus’ gift to us, His followers, so why is it that we often don’t feel that peace? Why do we tend to look outward, to things or people to bring us a quick sense of peace and comfort?
Make Him Your Permanent Safe Place
When we’re struggling, afraid, unsure, or going through a trying time, most of us run to God. We look to Him for answers, for peace, reassurance, healing and hope. And that’s a good thing.
After all, His Name is our Strong Tower, as Proverbs 18:10 tells us: ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.’
The problem however, is what often happens after we’ve run to Him. After He has restored our sense of peace, soothed our hearts with His loving words of reassurance, we forget that we’re actually supposed to remain there; to make Him our permanent place of safety. Actually we weren’t supposed to have been running off trying to work stuff out on our own in the first place!
Whether we do this consciously or not, many Christians do it – I know I definitely do;
We feel strong enough to stand – even run a marathon, because we’ve encountered God. And we sort of go “thank you Lord, I’m okay now, I can take it from here.”
We might not actually say those words with our lips, but our hearts, and our actions says it loud and clear.
The problem when we try to ‘dip’ in and out like this is that the peace and comfort we feel is temporary. It’s not long before something else comes along and we feel shaken all over again!
We were designed to live permanently under God’s protective shadow; everything I could ever need can be found in the ‘secret place’, including peace, when I dwell, stay, abide and remain there. Psalm 91:1 tells us, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Dwell in His presence, under His shadow today and always,
Part 2 to follow on Wednesday – what it means to dwell under the shadow of the Almighty