Good morning ladies!
This morning during my devotional readings I came across the following verse:
““Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.” ~ Jesus
John 14:27 NET
Whenever I read an encouragement like this I ask myself why it had to be shared.
It seems to me that Jesus knew that we would encounter situations (both internal and external) in life that would leave us feeling distressed and/or afraid. Otherwise why would he have needed to say anything?
Elsewhere in scripture we find this counsel:
“My child, pay attention to my words; listen attentively to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight, guard them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and healing to one’s entire body. Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it are the sources of life.”
Proverbs 4:20-23 NET
If I combine the wisdom in these two passages I come up with the following:
In my life I will encounter distressing, frightening situations where the very essence of who I am (my heart) is vulnerable. BUT as a follower of Christ I am the recipient of a promise straight from the lips of the one who gave everything for me and overcame everything for me.
I can choose to trade the feelings of uncertainty, fear and disillusionment that will most likely lead to words and actions I regret.
I can trade them out for peace. And courage.
And not just any old peace. Not the kind that numbs. Not like wine or an affair or an eruption of angry words or losing myself in work or volunteering. This kind of peace is what the world offers.
Jesus offers something better and fuller and eternal.
I want that kind of peace and courage.
SO I must be vigilant and set a guard on my heart. Developing an awareness (with the Spirit's help) of the first signs that the most central part of me is under attack. And I must be ruthless in defending it.
It may mean giving up a habit, changing my lifestyle or seeking counsel on how to change my thinking. It may mean confession and repentance. But I must do it.
This "Jesus peace and Jesus courage" is what I want. It's been offered to me by the One who is completely trustworthy.
Why wouldn't I make the trade?