“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.” (John 14:27)
God rarely sends us into situations where our comfort level is high. Instead He promises to be with us in spite of our fear. It’s God’s presence, not comfortable circumstances, that strengthens our faith and brings out the best in us.
God told Abraham to leave a wealthy, well-known family, and go to a land he didn’t know. He explained that Abraham would give birth to a new nation that would bless the world. Abraham went, and a nation was born. God told Moses to confront Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth, and that God Himself would use Moses to deliver His people. Moses confronted, and God delivered. God told Joshua that if he’d be strong and courageous when everybody wanted to return to slavery, God would go with them and give them the land. Joshua was strong and courageous, and God Himself went with them and gave them the land.
Over and over we see this pattern repeated in Scripture. David faced the giant Goliath, Elijah faced the prophets of Baal, Daniel faced a den of lions — and always there was God in the midst of their fear. And lest you think these stories of courage are all in the past, historian Everett Ferguson calculates that more Christians have been killed for their faith in the past fifty years, than in the first three hundred years of the church’s existence. So here’s Jesus’ Word to you when somebody doesn’t like you, or you get a bad review at work, or you face illness, or the economy dips and your retirement fund takes a 50 per cent hit: “My peace I give you.”
Heavenly Father, it seems that each day there are more and more things that can cause me to be fearful. Help me to rely on Your presence and peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.