EXPERIENCING PEACE WHEN THE WORLD ISN’T STILL
UNHURRY HACK: Helplessness is not hopelessness, and where there is hope there is help.
FIRST READ: JOHN 14
The world has been anything but still lately. Maybe that leaves you craving peace like it does me...
We need some good news today and it is this: peace is still present.
Peace is there waiting for us when we turn off the nightly news, after a conversation of “what-ifs,” and even in the worries that plague our moments drifting into sleep. If we only look and listen only to the world and to our own restless thoughts we will miss out on the Lord’s perfect gift of peace. Jesus promises us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Evidence of peace is not the absence of problem, but the very presence of God guarding our heart in the midst of it.
Are you living daily with peace amidst the problems of today’s world? By nature we cling to the things that are familiar and constant. This is one of the reasons we get homesick and why comfort dishes are the foods we crave when we are sick. Between ongoing politics and pandemic, weather and world events, I think our souls have been left craving familiar comforts like peace. If it all seems too much and leaves you wanting to shut down, let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone. Worry is a common topic of conversation these days and I battle it too. Perhaps at the root of our worry is also a feeling of helplessness. Yet in Christ we don’t have to stay there. The Bible reminds us that peace is still right here, and we can cling to God’s promises regardless of circumstance. Helplessness is not hopelessness, and where there is hope there is help.
Instead of worry, let’s feed our soul. Jesus is tender to welcome us and he’s firm to remind us in John 14:1, “do not let your hearts be troubled.” That verse although comforting may leave us wondering, “how in the world do I do that?” Well, first off we can’t look to the world to do this. So we need a new question. Let’s change it to, “How in (Jesus) can I do that?” Jesus is faithful to show us. Maybe we find ourselves saying, “How can I do that?” Again, we need a new question. We can’t find un-troubledness in ourselves. At best we can only temporarily distract.
This is where I believe we have a choice to rid worry, and also where we can be raw and honest with God. “Lord, I don’t want to be troubled, show me how to let go of my worries and rest in the peace that you promise! I can’t do it on my own.” And that right there (honesty and humility), puts us in a posture of prayer under the right authority of our One True Savior.
Thomas asked Jesus in his final days, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Jesus assured him (and us), “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). This is true for our eternity and it is true for our daily life. Jesus is the way to experiencing peace regardless of what is going on in our world.
Worry vigils only keep us worried. They don’t really protect us or help us problem solve, many of which our human minds just do not have the capacity to understand. Proverbs 3:5 wisely points us to lean not on our own understanding because our paths are made straight by trusting in the Lord with our whole heart instead. This is where we can dig our heals in and stay.
It is human to feel troubled but we can trade it for praise. When Jesus predicted his death, he said in John 12:27-28, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!...”
We too can rise above our troubles when we choose to:
1). Pray for God’s will to be done
2). Praise and glorify the name of God.
Fear requires a lot of energy! Why spend needless energy on fear when we can rest right there in God’s peace? More than just letting go of worries, we have to know where to turn and what to hold on to instead. It comforts me to know that in the face of whatever troubles my soul this day that I too can cry out, Father, glorify your name! This is a powerful prayer and scripture records in the remainder of John 12:28, Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
JOIN ME IN PRAYER:
Father God, may your Name be glorified in all the world today. Greater than any evil, peril, or hardship that I hear about or experience--I will cry out to you instead of worry. Take the troubles stored in my head and heart this day and replace them instead with your gift of peace. May the Holy Spirit empower me to grow the fruit of peace in every area of my life and may it become a testimony I get to share this day that peace is still present and found in you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.