Thursday, November 29, 2018
John 14:27 “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.
Just the word itself produces it. Immediately our minds are taken to places we don’t like to go. The top of a tall ladder precariously leaning on the peak of your house while you stretch to fasten the Christmas lights. The dark alley in a major city that is the only pathway to the parking ramp where you left your car. The airline jet which has just arrived and is your next flight and could be one of the models of jets which crashed recently. The grapes you plan to purchase at the store today which could be carrying another black widow spider like the one discovered in Minnesota recently.
Outside influences and events can demolish our sense of security and safety. The world’s answer to fear is to remove ourselves from all such outside influences. Don’t climb the ladder. Don’t go downtown at night. Don’t fly. Don’t buy grapes. The answer to fear is to avoid anything that causes fear. We withdraw into the presumed safety and security of self.
We also do that in our spiritual lives. How many more missionaries to unreached people groups would we have if those called would conquer their fear of persecution and death? How many more witnesses for Jesus would we have in our communities if we would overcome the fear of rejection? We are living under the bondage of fear, when Jesus promised us the gift of peace.
Jesus distinguishes His peace from the peace the world offers. The world’s peace is from the outside in. For the person who lives life from the world’s perspective peace depends on what is or is not going on around them. They are only at peace when there is no danger. While the plane flies smoothly they rest. When there is turbulence they worry.
But Jesus offers us peace that starts on the inside and is greater than any danger on the outside. God’s power cannot be overcome by terrorism. God’s sovereignty cannot be overruled by politicians. God’s promises cannot be overturned by evil. God’s love cannot be overwhelmed by hate. Do not be troubled or afraid. The peace of God, which surpasses all our human reason and understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds safe and secure no matter what the external influence. (See Philippians 4:7)
Peace is possible because of the abiding presence of Jesus Christ in our lives through the Holy Spirit, and our trust in His power, His sovereignty, His promises, and His love. What do we have to fear when we are living in the will of God, on mission with Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit? It is only when one or more of those three spiritual realities is missing that peace is threatened and fear is given license to influence us.
When we are walking daily in the will of God, accomplishing the mission of Jesus Christ, and enjoying intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit, fear is completely overwhelmed by the peace of God. Nothing can separate us from the love of God when we are in Christ Jesus. Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35 – 39 NLT).
The gift of Jesus that overcomes fear.